Poll Analysis: McCain Gains on Obama

Obama McCain
17.8% probability of winning 80.7% probability of winning
Mean of 258 electoral votes Mean of 280 electoral votes

Electoral College Map

Washington Oregon Idaho Montana Wyoming North Dakota South Dakota Minnesota Wisconsin Iowa Illinios Indiana Colorado Utah New Mexico Texas Nebraska Oklahoma Kansas Nevada California Arizona Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Mississippi Alabama Tennessee Georgia Kentucky Ohio Michigan Pennsylvania West Virginia Virginia Hawaii Alaska North Carolina South Carolina Florida New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland District of Columbia

Electoral College Map

Washington Oregon Idaho Montana Wyoming North Dakota South Dakota Minnesota Wisconsin Iowa Illinios Indiana Colorado Utah New Mexico Texas Nebraska Oklahoma Kansas Nevada California Arizona Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Mississippi Alabama Tennessee Georgia Kentucky Ohio Michigan Pennsylvania West Virginia Virginia Hawaii Alaska North Carolina South Carolina Florida New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland District of Columbia

The most recent analysis suggested that Sen. Barack Obama would have a 42.6% probability of defeating Sen. John McCain in a general election held yesterday. Today there were seven new polls to add to the mix.

Now, after 10,000 simulated elections, Obama wins 1,776 times (plus he gets the 156 ties), and McCain wins 8,068 times. If a general election were held today, Obama would have a 19.3% (computed as 17.76% plus 1.56% for ties) probability of winning and McCain would have an 80.7% probability of winning.

The long term trends in this race can be seen from a series of elections simulated every 7 days using polls from 22 Sep 2007 to 22 May 2008, and including polls from the preceding 1 month (FAQ).


Here is the distribution of electoral votes [FAQ] from the simulations for the current time period:

  • 10000 simulations: Obama wins 17.8%, McCain wins 80.7%.
  • Average ( SE) EC votes for Obama: 257.6 ( 11.9)
  • Average (SE) EC votes for McCain: 280.4 ( 11.9)
  • Median (95% CI) EC votes for Obama: 258 (241, 283)
  • Median (95% CI) EC votes for McCain: 280 (255, 297)
State EC Votes # polls Total Votes % Obama % McCain Obama %wins McCain %wins
Alabama 9 1* 812 39.5 60.5 0.0 100.0
Alaska 3 2 1001 45.7 54.3 0.1 99.9
Arizona 10 1 490 44.7 55.3 1.3 98.7
Arkansas 6 1 480 40.6 59.4 0.0 100.0
California 55 3 1978 57.6 42.4 100.0 0.0
Colorado 9 1 450 53.3 46.7 92.8 7.2
Connecticut 7 1* 1476 59.8 40.2 100.0 0.0
Delaware 3 1* 553 55.0 45.0 98.6 1.4
D.C. 3 0 (100) (0)
Florida 27 3 2899 47.9 52.1 0.7 99.3
Georgia 15 3 1733 42.9 57.1 0.0 100.0
Hawaii 4 1* 546 66.3 33.7 100.0 0.0
Idaho 4 1* 553 42.9 57.1 0.1 99.9
Illinois 21 1* 546 65.9 34.1 100.0 0.0
Indiana 11 2 1779 49.0 51.0 16.0 84.0
Iowa 7 2 970 53.0 47.0 96.8 3.2
Kansas 6 1 445 38.2 61.8 0.0 100.0
Kentucky 8 1 546 36.3 63.7 0.0 100.0
Louisiana 9 1* 465 44.1 55.9 0.9 99.1
Maine 4 1 445 57.3 42.7 99.6 0.4
Maryland 10 1* 577 57.0 43.0 99.9 0.1
Massachusetts 12 1 450 56.7 43.3 99.4 0.6
Michigan 17 1 445 49.4 50.6 39.8 60.2
Minnesota 10 2 1444 55.9 44.1 100.0 0.0
Mississippi 6 1* 591 43.1 56.9 0.1 99.9
Missouri 11 2 1856 48.0 52.0 4.4 95.6
Montana 3 1* 455 47.3 52.7 11.2 88.8
Nebraska 5 1 445 43.8 56.2 0.8 99.2
Nevada 5 1 430 46.5 53.5 7.1 92.9
New Hampshire 4 2 874 47.6 52.4 8.4 91.6
New Jersey 15 1 707 63.6 36.4 100.0 0.0
New Mexico 5 2 983 52.3 47.7 92.3 7.7
New York 31 2 976 57.9 42.1 100.0 0.0
North Carolina 15 4 2243 46.2 53.8 0.0 100.0
North Dakota 3 1* 218 46.3 53.7 13.4 86.6
Ohio 20 3 2448 48.7 51.3 8.2 91.8
Oklahoma 7 1* 569 40.1 59.9 0.0 100.0
Oregon 7 1 455 57.1 42.9 99.7 0.3
Pennsylvania 21 5 4344 53.8 46.2 100.0 0.0
Rhode Island 4 1* 572 58.2 41.8 100.0 0.0
South Carolina 8 1* 554 48.4 51.6 20.3 79.7
South Dakota 3 1* 221 39.8 60.2 0.2 99.9
Tennessee 11 1* 450 42.2 57.8 0.2 99.8
Texas 34 2 1001 44.9 55.1 0.0 100.0
Utah 5 1 537 30.4 69.6 0.0 100.0
Vermont 3 1* 576 68.4 31.6 100.0 0.0
Virginia 13 3 1725 48.6 51.4 9.7 90.3
Washington 11 1 633 56.2 43.8 99.8 0.2
West Virginia 5 1* 540 39.8 60.2 0.0 100.0
Wisconsin 10 1 450 47.8 52.2 15.9 84.0
Wyoming 3 1* 508 39.4 60.6 0.0 100.0

* denotes that an older poll was used

Details of the methods are given in the FAQ.

The most recent analysis in this and other match-ups can be found from this page.

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One Response to “Poll Analysis: McCain Gains on Obama”

  1. mvymvy Says:

    The real issue is not how well Clinton, Obama, or McCain might do in the closely divided battleground states, but that we shouldn’t have battleground states and spectator states in the first place. Every vote in every state should be politically relevant in a presidential election. And, every vote should be equal. We should have a national popular vote for President in which the White House goes to the candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule which awards all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state. Because of this rule, candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. Two-thirds of the visits and money are focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money goes to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people are merely spectators to the presidential election.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 17 legislative chambers (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, California, and Vermont). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

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