Since we're about five weeks from the election, I should probably start being a little more systematic with election coverage. I'll try to post on the polls and what they mean every day or two from here to November 4. Keep in mind that I have two very strong beliefs about polls:
- State polls of likely voters with margins of error of +/-3% are the only ones that tell you anything worth knowing, and
- There's not much of a point in paying attention to polls until about three weeks out.
That said, here's a little update on what's going on in electoral politics this week:
- Obama is opening up a lead in the likely electoral college count. How to explain this, especially given Sarah Palin's popularity among social conservatives, whom she has singlehandedly energized to support the McCain campaign? It's the economy, stupid. Fairly or not, most Americans are blaming the Republicans for the economic mess we're in, and Obama's benefitting from that fact.
- However, McCain may have the vote tied up in Michigan, where the economy is usually issue #1. That's odd, but it's not clear from all of the polls that are running there. We'll see.
- Obama's doing better than expected in Colorado, but it's far from settled there. Look for Focus on the Family's political wing and other groups out of Colorado Springs to hit him hard on the abortion issue. Turnout among Hispanic voters vs. evangelical voters will be the key in deciding who wins Colorado. And one in five Colorado voters is Latino.
- We still don't know if tomorrow night's debate will happen. Congress and the administration are supposed to be close to a deal, and were meeting with the president at the White House at 4pm EST. If a deal is reached tonight, that kindof takes away McCain's reason for the whole campaign suspension, right?
- I've tried to keep an open mind about Sarah Palin, but it's increasingly apparent that she doesn't have the knowledge or experience necessary to assume the presidency. Don't believe it? Did you see her discussion of foreign policy with Katie Couric? I used to know the guy who's advising her on foreign policy, and while I disagree with him on just about everything, he knows his stuff. If he hasn't been able to prep her by now, she's really in trouble. It doesn't help that more Alaskans think Joe Biden is more qualified to be veep than she is.
- If the election were held today, I think Obama would win. It's dangerous to peak this early, however, and there's a lot of race to go.