McCain still pulling ahead in VA?

Brent Finnegan -- September 26th, 2008

With the frenzy over the bailout package, and the prospect that Obama may be having a debate by himself in Mississippi this evening, one might think McCain’s numbers would be dropping. But according to a recent Mason-Dixon poll, McCain is holding a slim lead in Virginia.

McCain’s advantage appears greatest in Southwest Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, where 54 and 55 percent of respondents, respectively, said they favored the GOP ticket.

9 Responses to “McCain still pulling ahead in VA?”

  1. zen says:

    And to think, some people have actually accused valley residents of being bass-ackwards.

  2. The Valley Progressive says:

    I’m sorry, but particularly when it comes to polls, I want objectivity. “Mason-Dixon Poll” makes me wonder…

  3. Bubby says:

    Rasmussen has it at 50% Obama to 45 McCain in Virginia.

  4. Renee says:

    My analysis on the debate:

    I think McCain did OK in terms of not getting too flustered and sticking to his position, but Obama did GREAT and came out much stronger than the analysts expected. They said McCain had to blow this one out of the park since foreign policy is his “strong point”, and he didn’t. In fact, most of the people polled by CNN after the debate thought Obama won.

    The analysts are going crazy arguing about it now, you can tell if they’re Rep or Dem by their reactions, but what’s apparent is there was no clear “winner” of the debate, which is BAD for McCain.

    Paul Begala (a CNN analyst) said McCain’s frame is “Experience vs. Risk” and Obama’s frame is “Future vs. Past”, and the “Future” frame clearly came out the strongest when you compare the two because Obama just didn’t look risky at all, but McCain did look ‘stuck in the past’ a few times.

    Also, I find it very intriguing that in the “opinion meter” at the bottom of the screen on CNN, all 3 lines went up in sync most times Obama talked, and split between Reps and Dems most times McCain talked (with Independents wobbling back and forth on McCain). Republicans didn’t seem to disagree with Obama as much as I expected them to as he made his points, which I think is a big deal.

    Anyway, I’m very entertained by all of this, I’ve never been into politics this much before and this year is just so interesting.

  5. Renee says:

    @The Valley Progressive:

    I agree. However, if the “Mason-Dixon Poll” only has a 3% lead for McCain in VA, I think that looks promising for Obama!

    The article says they only surveyed 625 people in the state, so I wish they gave a breakdown at the end of the article like some polls do, like “4 people were polled from each County in VA” or whatever to show the makeup of the respondents by geographic region, race, gender, party, etc.

    For instance, if they said 55% of the Shenandoah Valley respondents favored McCain, but that was 6 out of 11 people, I would say the margin of error for the statistic would be quite large!

    The Rasmussen poll doesn’t list the number or makeup of the respondents.

    This is the only one I found with a “composition of likely voters” row:
    http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=7bd0cddb-f8eb-4a1d-9cbd-3a481b87bf37

    716 surveyed, 51% female, 73% white, 236(R)-272(D)-156(I), 24% Shenandoah Valley (see link for more breakdowns)

    It has Obama ahead with 51% of the vote, margin of error +-3.7%

    So in other words…. it’s really close.

  6. JGFitzgerald says:

    There’s a hundred ways to parse the polls. At http://www.electoral-vote.com/ an average of the last seven polls shows Obama up by one.

  7. finnegan says:

    Good to know.

    In a way, polls — even reputable ones — are like film reviews. Just because it says one thing doesn’t mean I agree with it, or even that it’s necessarily true. I know this Mason-Dixon poll is just one of many in a hotly contested swing state.

    Of course, this is a local news blog, so I was primarily interested in the bit about McCain pulling 55 percent in the Shenandoah Valley.

  8. finnegan says:

    From today’s Pilot: McCain, Obama neck-and-neck in VA.

    McCain’s largest regional advantage is in the rural Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont, where he leads, 59-36. Obama’s biggest – and only – lead is in Northern Virginia, the state’s most populous area, where he is ahead, 57-37.

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