Let’s Do the Bump

Okay, the state polls are starting to catch up with events, so let’s have a look at the field.

The chart above is the one we’re watching most closely — it shows the electoral-vote count in states where either candidate leads by more than 5 percent. (We’re treating everything else as a statistical dead heat.) State polls aren’t released as frequently as national dailies, and this chart averages polling over the past seven days, so there’s gonna be some lag in the results.

And if you want to say that Obama drove off a cliff after the Republican convention — wait a sec.

Certainly more states are in play at the moment, which shouldn’t be unexpected. We’ll need another week, after the hysteria dies down, to see whether that’s a blip or a fact.

But what catches our attention — provisionally, it’s still early — is that McCain hasn’t made any significant gain. You’d expect the lines to cross right about now, and granted, they still might. But so far, the takeaway is that while voters aren’t certain about Obama, they don’t seem to have much stomach for the alternative.

For comparison, let’s look at 2004:

So much bobbing and weaving there, it might as well be a toss-up — nothing approaching the clarity of this year’s pattern.

And that’s one reason why we’re not freaking out yet — it’s just too soon to hit the eject button, and nothing’s yet outside our comfort zone. Circumstances may change in another week, but the only bump we’re seeing so far is a speed bump for Barry.

Electoral College Graphs 2008 [Electoral-Vote.com]
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