2. Well, the poll that had Obama up was a PPP poll, which is a Democratic firm.
The poll that had McCain up was Rasmussen, which is not an in-house firm for either party. So, if I had to guess one way or the other, I'd say McCain may be up by a hair there right now, but that for all intents and purposes, the state is tied.
And while I certainly don't think we should toss Ohio aside, I should point out that McCain needs the state far more than Obama does. Check out the map at today's electoral-vote.com, which has all the most up-to-date polls in a state-by-state comparison. Right now, it has Obama winning by some 70 electoral votes and doing it without Ohio, Florida, Missouri or Virginia.
9. Rasmussen polling is not literally bought and paid for by the Republican Party.
PPP polling is bought and paid for by the Democrats. As for Scott Rasmussen, the dude's also frequently been on NPR. Does that mean NPR's a far-right source?
I recognize that Rasmussen's not the best polling, but I don't think it's because the company's CEO is a Republican. If anything, I'm wary of the company's use of automated phone messages in its polling instead of live operators. With no opportunity for clarification, I think Rasmussen's polls on complicated issues are of dubious quality. But on a simple yes-or-no question like "Who ya votin' for?" Rasmussen's been demonstrably accurate in the past. This particular poll seems a little bit unusual, as it shows a pretty large gap between this and the previous Rasmussen poll in June, which had McCain ahead by a single point, as did the month before that. A five-point jump in a month after two months of no change seems a little hairy.
But the point is, Ohio's essentially tied at this point.
That said, the same time that Quinnipiac showed Obama ahead by 6, the Rasmussen showed McCain ahead by 1.
As I said to the other poster who replied to my post, above, I think the gist is that Ohio is essentially tied, but take that within the context that McCain needs Ohio far more than Obama does, and it paints a fairly rosy picture.
I've mentioned them elsewhere in this thread -- Rasmussen's use of robotic calls over live operators is one big example, and as thewiseguy mentioned and I agreed with, Rasmussen also often has much smaller sample sizes than other polling firms.
One point to make here, other than the fact that Ohio is probably about tied right now, is this: While polls this far out probably don't mean a whole lot, what does matter at this point is the aggregate trend of all the polls. And in the case of Ohio, the trend indisputably favors Obama. Just check out this graph:
As far as PPP, they do the same robo-polling as Rasmussen, which is problematic to me when trying to poll on complex issues, but not so much when looking at a simple horse race like a political campaign. I like their sample size in contrast with Rasmussen (more than 2 to 1 larger), but I do take issue with their Dem-to-GOP weighting. 46 percent of the PPP poll's sample were Democrats, and 33 percent were Republicans, with 21 percent not affiliated. While I don't have numbers in front of me (and they're kinda tough to Google because Ohio is one of the states that doesn't have party registration), that 13 percent gap between Democrats and Republicans is almost certainly not indicative of Ohio's actual demographic makeup, which skews the poll in favor of the Democrats.
7. I hope that SOS Jennifer Brunner is cleaning up the mess that Kenneth Blackwell left behind
One of the biggest problems that Ohio had in 2004 was the lack of machines in urban voting areas. In fact, an article that RFK Jr. wrote for Rolling Stone magazine talked about how some Cleveland voting districts had the same or LESS voting machines than rural & suburbian voting machines.
We have to hope that Brunner will ensure that a fair distribution of machines will be made in order to prevent the lines formed in Cleveland that probably blocked many votes that would have gone to Kerry.
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