Battleground State Polls: Florida & Ohio strong for McCain

Polling this week in Florida and Ohio shows little net change from the previous week with McCain holding a very modest advantage in each state. McCain and Obama both increased their level of support slightly in each as the number of undecided/third party voters declined by three points in each.

In Florida, it’s McCain by five, 51% to 46%. In Ohio, it’s McCain 50%, Obama 46%.

Pennsylvania and Virginia also showed little change this week, but both of these states shifted slightly back in the direction of their historic voting patterns after being tied a week ago. Now, Obama is up by three in Pennsylvania (48%-45%) and McCain is up by two in Virginia (50% to 48%).

It would be a mistake to read too much into these minor changes as all four states remain very competitive with just over six weeks to go.

In Michigan, Obama holds a 51% to 44% advantage over McCain. That too is little changed from the previous Rasmussen Reports survey conducted on September 10.

Over the past week, national trends showed a slight improvement for Obama. A week ago, McCain was up by three in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and now Obama is up by one. This trend is not found in the state polling.

There is no clear reason as to why these battleground state polls remained stable while the national trend moved in Obama’s direction. However, it is worth noting that Obama didn’t really gain ground nationally over the past week. Rather, McCain lost support.

Obama went from 47% in the daily Presidential Tracking poll a week ago to 48% today. At the same time, McCain slipped from 50% to 47%. It is possible that the more intense campaigning in the battleground states helped stabilize McCain’s support. During Election 2004, there were often times when the battleground state polls moved with a different rhythm than the polling in states without intense campaigning.

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