Sunday, October 12, 2008

McCain by 2 in Ohio? Really?

Is McCain really ahead in Ohio? The Plain Dealer and the state's other big dailies are out with their Ohio Newspaper Poll today, saying McCain is leading Obama, 48 to 46 percent. You've got to dig deep into the paper to see that most other polls have Obama ahead here.

Take a look at Real Clear Politics' average of the eight most recent Ohio polls. It shows Obama ahead with six of them, and an average lead of 2.7 percentage points. Each poll has a margin of error of about 3 percent, so it's still a close race. In fact, the PD, bowing to the margin of error, calls it a dead heat.

This is the second time that the newspapers' poll showed more McCain support than other surveys -- their September poll had him up by 6.

Averaging the polls together tends to give a better picture than any one poll. Take a look at 2004, when the poll average predicted the final result in Ohio almost exactly.

You can find links to more poll averages on the right column of my blog.

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