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Morning Status Update for 10/6

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Maybe it's just the calm before the storm, but the weekend was a quiet one for new polls. Other than national daily trackers, we logged only three new statewide polls since Saturday morning, though the three were in the battlegrounds of Colorado, Ohio and Minnesota.

The new Star Tribune/PSRA poll in Minnesota, showing Barack Obama leading John McCain by 18 points (55% to 37%). That margin is considerably bigger than Obama's nearly 4-point lead on our trend estimate (49.1% to 45.2%), since other recent polls have shown a closer race. However, the new poll did move the trend estimate enough to shift Minnesota and its 10 electoral votes back to our "lean Obama" status. Our overall electoral vote count now shows Obama at 260, McCain at 163 with 115 electoral votes in states still classified as toss-ups.

Obama's seven point margin (49% to 427%) on the new Columbus Dispatch mail-in poll helps boost his lead on our trend estimate to almost two points (48.0% to 46.1%). The Dispatch poll has an interesting history that I followed on my old Mystery Pollster blog -- highly accurate in general elections from the 1980s through 2004, but wildly off on a set of state issues in 2005 (for reasons that may have been specific to the questionnaire used for that poll). Whatever one thinks of the Dispatch poll, however, this much is clear about Ohio: Obama led on five of the seven polls released in Ohio last week, trailing by just a single percentage point on the two exceptions.

2008-10-06 trend.jpg

The weekend did see a continuing movement in Obama's direction on our national trend estimate. His lead grew from 5.6 to 7.9 points since Friday. The four daily trackers showed small movement over the weekend, with three of four that release results over the weekend (Gallup Daily, Diageo/Hotline and Daily Kos/Research 2000) showing slight movement toward Obama.