Friday, October 31, 2008

The Race Out West: A Done Deal For Obama In WA, OR, CO, and NM

Several states out west are well into their early voting periods, such that new polls of those states are picking up more than 50% of the voters who have already cast their ballots.

Based on those exit polls, we can pretty much call the race already for Obama in Washington and Oregon (no surprise) and also in the supposed battleground states of New Mexico and Colorado that were carried by Bush in 2004.

Here's the data (Note: all our data on early voting--from more than 50 polls so far--can be found HERE, including links to the polls discussed below):

Washington: Survey USA concluded a poll Oct. 28 in which 54% of the sample reported having already voted. Obama leads that group by a huge 59%-37% margin. This is no surprise, but it basically says the race is over in Washington.

Oregon: Similar deal here. Public Policy Polling (PPP) did a survey here in which 59% said they'd already voted. Obama leads among that group by an astounding 64%-35%. McCain would have to win more thatn 75% of the remaining votes to overcome that deficit.

Likewise, in the hard fought Oregon senate race, Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley is poised to knock off incumbent Republican Gordon Smith. Merkley leads in the early voting by 59%-37%.

While Oregon and Washington are not surprising--although the margins are huge--Colorado and New Mexico were supposed to be close. It appears they aren't.

In Colorado, we now have three separate polls showing that roughly half to two-thirds of voters there have already cast their ballots, with Obama having a big lead:

PPP--65% already voted--Obama 58%, McCain 41%
Marist--44% already voted--Obama 59%, McCain 41%
Roper--59% already voted--Obama 57%, McCain 34%

These polls are quite consistent and suggest that Obama has all but already captured this key state. (Likewise, Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall leads for the open Senate seat in Colorado, blowing away his challenger by 60%-38% among early voters in the PPP poll.)

Finally, we have New Mexico, where early voting has also been on a torrid pace. In New Mexico, PPP just took a poll in which 56% of the sample had already voted, and Obama's lead was an astounding 64%-36%. This is consistent with an earlier Survey USA poll, in which only 10% of the sample had yet voted, but in which Obama led by 60%-37%.

Also in NM, the other Udall--Tom--has a huge lead over his challenger in the race for the open senate seat there, leading by 64%-34% among early voters.

By the way, the percentages in these polls who say they've already voted are pretty consistent with data on Prof. McDonald's early voting website, where he calculates the early voting as a percentage of 2004 votes. As of the latest posting, those percentages for these states (if available) were as follows:

Colorado 60%
New Mexico 62%
Oregon 44%
Washington: roughly 50%

1 comment:

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