Yesterday yielded 17 new statewide surveys, mostly updates since mid-September bring more confirmation of the gains of the Democratic ticket since then, if any was needed. Eleven (11) of the 17 show movement in Obama's direction.
Again, the impact of the new surveys was not uniform. The new surveys nudged our trend estimates in Obama's direction in seven battleground states, and in McCain's direction in three.
These results provide continuing reassurance for Democrats in the most critical battlegrounds. In Florida, for example, two new surveys from Rasmussen Reports and Strategic Vision give Obama leads of 3 and 8 percentage points respectively. That makes 8 of 9 polls released in Florida in the last week showing Obama leading by narrow margins. Incredibly, the Democrats now lead by a 5.7 point margin on our Florida trend estimate (50.4% to 44.7%), ranking the state -- for the moment at least -- with states like Washington and Wisconsin.
Similarly, in Ohio, two new surveys from ARG and Strategic Vision show Obama leading by margins 3 and 2 points respectively. While these margins are too small to be statistically meaningful by themselves, they are among 9 of the last 11 released in Ohio in October showing Obama leading by at least a point. Of course, the two new surveys show a slightly narrower Obama lead than our current trend estimate for Ohio (Obama 49.4%, McCain 45.3%).
In West Virginia, the scarcity of survey data makes our trend lines unusually sensitive to individual polls. So a new ARG survey showing Obama with an 8-point lead in West Virginia (50% to 42%), the first new poll there in two weeks, narrows McCain's lead signficantly on our overall estimate to a single percentage point (46.3% to 45.2%). The new poll colors West Virginia and its five electoral votes toss-up yellow on our map, dropping McCain's total to 158. Keep in mind, however, that four other polls conducted there since the Republican convention have shown McCain leading by margins of four to eight points. So "not enough data to be sure" is probably a more fitting designation for West Virginia than "toss-up."