Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama Up Two In Virginia In Conservative Mason-Dixon Poll

While most polls have shown Obama leading in Virginia, the Mason-Dixon poll has consistently--until now--given McCain a small lead.

No longer. In today's Mason-Dixon poll of Virginia likely voters, taken over Oct. 20-21, Obama has a small--but statistically insignificant--lead, 47%-45%. In the last Mason-Dixon poll of Commonwealth voters, at the beginning of October, McCain led 48%-45%.

We note that the M-D poll sample is 50/50 between men and women. Men somewhat favored McCain, whereas women somewhat favored Obama. Recent patterns in Virginia--and throughout the nation--are that women tend to turnout and vote in greater proportions than men. If that's true, the poll probably underestimates Obama's support.

As far as we can tell, M-D only calls landline phones. Again, that will underestimate Obama's support to some degree, because younger people are much more likely to live in households with no landline, using only cellphones.

By the same token, the M-D poll is useful, because we ought to think of Virginia as a close race and make sure to get everyone to the polls by election day.

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