Over the past week, a series of state polls with extremely positive results for Barack Obama have been released. If these polls are accurate, then Obama has taken large leads in New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, a decent lead in Florida, and even a narrow lead in Virginia. Given earlier polls that showed Missouri to be a dead heat, this all seems to good to be true. After all, I am a Democrat, and so a lead like this makes me feel as though I am about to wake up in bed next to Susanne Pleshette.
Actually, however, this state polling projection is precisely where current national polling would project it to be. Pollster.com's national polling projection, which corrects for "house effects" from different pollsters and takes all polling firms into account rather than just those with the most recently released polls, currently shows Obama ahead by 5.6%. A 5.6% Obama lead would be a swing of 8.1% from 2004, when Kerry lost the national popular vote by 2.5% (actually 2.46%, but rounding is necessary in this case). If there was an 8.1% swing in every single state from 2004, we would end up with the following electoral college map:
Obama 336, McCain 189, Too close to call 13
With the exception of Nevada, this is precisely what current state polling projects. The two closest states in the above map would be Virginia (within 0.2%) and Missouri (within (0.9%). Remarkably, all polling conducted since Obama clinched the nomination actually shows Virginia and Missouri to be the two closest states in the nation, and all other states, except Nevada, falling into their above projected categories.
So, the state polls released over the last two weeks, which fladem today called "the best day of State Polling a Democrat has had since 1996," are not too good to be true. It is, instead, exactly where one would expect Obama's lead to be given current national polling and 2004 results. Even though Nevada might be out of whack, the above map really is where the election currently stands. We may be Democrats, but at least for now we can rest assured that we are winning.