State of the Race
11:33 AM, Sep 23, 2008 • By GARY ANDRES
Pollster Steve Lombardo makes some noteworthy points about the presidential race in a post yesterday at Pollster.com. First, he argues the contest is "on the verge of becoming a single-issue election." Lombardo cites the most recent CBS News/New York Times poll showing "economy and jobs" (48%) trumps terrorism and national security (14%), gas prices and energy policy (10%), healthcare (10%) and the war in Iraq (8%) as the most important issue to voters.
While this issue matrix would seem to benefit Obama, it's unclear that it does. Lombardo writes:
He also references some comparable Gallup data from this point in September 2000 and 2004 that underscores the closeness of the 2008 race and how it could still significantly shift.
Lombardo observes, "In 2000 the debates and intervening campaign events turned the tide; in 2004 they did not. McCain needs to do well in the debates or it will be very difficult to buck the current environment." Finally, he points to the pivotal nature of Colorado:
I disagree with Lombardo on one point. He believes McCain can't win without Colorado, and thinks the election might come down to Virginia.
Yes, Colorado is important and is truly a toss-up in this election. But it is no more important than Ohio, Virginia or Florida. Given the recent historical presidential voter pattern, if this state moves into Obama's column it will mean an electoral blowout for the Illinois senator. Virginia is more likely to be the state that settles this race.
I see a McCain path to victory even if he loses Colorado, but that makes Virginia a must-win.
Read Lombardo's full post here.