Yesterday's 17 new statewide and 12 new national poll releases look like a picture of stability in the race for President. The state of Washington shifts back to strong Obama dark blue, but otherwise, the new surveys show mostly random change in both directions.
At the state level, 11 of the 17 polls show movement of at least a point in Obama's direction, 4 in McCain's direction since the last survey by the same pollster. If we focus only on the 9 that follow up on previous polls conducted earlier in October, they have a hint of more recent gains by Obama: 6 show movement in Obama's direction, 2 in McCain's direction and 1 with no net change.
The impact on our trend estimates within the more contested states is again mostly offsetting. The margin shifts slightly in Obama's direction in 6 states and in McCain's direction in 4. Over the past week, Obama's margins have increased in 13 of the more competitive states, McCain's in 7.
In the state of Washington, a new Elway survey showing Obama leading by 19 points (55% to 36%). That bumps Obama's lead on the Washington trend estimate to 9.3%, enough to qualify for "strong" Obama status.
Florida is one state that has shown significant movement back to McCain. Although Obama still leads by two points on our trend estimate there (48.1% to 45.9), the margin has narrowed from a 6.1% Obama lead a week ago. Yesterday's new Mason-Dixon survey, showing a dead heat of McCain 46%, Obama 45% helps confirm that tightening.
At the national level, the new surveys again bump up Obama's margin slightly for the fourth day in a row. Of the eight national trackers, yesterday's releases shifted margins slightly in Obama's direction on four (including Gallup's "expanded" likely voter universe), in McCain's direction on two and showed no change on two.