I'm intrigued by the series of veep selection polls SurveyUSA released last week, putting Obama up against McCain with different vice presidential possibilities in a few key states. As noted previously, I'm skeptical about the significance of the veep matchings because I think much of the variance is simply a matter of name recognition. But each poll also has a straight head-to-head match without other names attached.
, SUSA has Obama beating McCain by 9 points.
, SUSA has Obama beating McCain by 8 points.
In New Mexico
, SUSA has Obama tied with McCain.
, SUSA has Obama beating McCain by 7 points.
Ohio and Pennsylvania are at the center of arguments that Obama runs weak with non-college educated and rural whites in Appalachia and surrounding regions. I'm cautiously optimistic that Obama can win both, especially Pennsylvania. But is he really that far ahead? Other recent polls of Ohio
have shown it consistently within the margin of error but with McCain slightly ahead. Pennsylvania meanwhile has been trending in the direction
of an 8 point. And the most recent poll, by Quinnipiac, has Obama up by 6.
Each of these results are consistent with the trend from other polls. But they're definitely on the high end of Obama's leads. SUSA has had a pretty respectable record this year. So I'll be curious to see if leads of that size firm up. If McCain lost Ohio and Pennsylvania, he'd be toast. Late Update
: TPM Reader DE
follows up ...
My uneducated opinion is that we're now seeing a "post-primary" Obama bounce. I expected it to be between 10-15 points, and that looks about right. Some Clinton supporters, who'd previously picked McCain over Obama in these polls, are now switching over to Obama.
I think the gap tightens over the summer until the media really does some vetting of McCain. They've started, but it's only in first gear so far. Whereas with Obama, they've already run the Indie 500........
The first point especially is a shrewd one. Remember that both Obama and Clinton were at least even with McCain even as substantial numbers of each Democrats' supporters were saying they wouldn't vote for the other Dem if he or she were nominee. How much headway Obama makes with these hardcore Hillary supporters remains an open questions. But certainly some of that animus from the heat of the primaries will dissipate. So in addition to the bounce any nominee gets after the securing the nomination, I think we will see that both Democrats' numbers were artificially depressed vis a vis McCain as long as the nomination battle continued.