A new Survey USA poll of the critical swing state of Wisconsin reveals that Barack Obama leads John McCain 52%-43%. A growing trend that we have seen in all of the recent state polls is the movement of women towards Obama. In Wisconsin, Obama leads McCain among women 58%-35%. Among men, McCain leads 51%-45%. Much like the recent swing state polls in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, Obama has also made improvements in his standing with older voters.
The Democratic candidate still maintains a big lead with voters under age 34. He leads McCain 59%-39% with this group, but the race is much closer with voters age 35-49, which Obama only leads by three, 49%-46%. He has a ten point over McCain with voters age 50-64, 52%-42%, and he leads with voters over 65, 46%-42%. Obama leads with white voters, 50%-45% and he leads among Hispanics 83%-17%. Obama has a six point lead with Independents in the state, 48%-42%. Although McCain is firmly pro-life, Obama still picks up 27% of the anti-abortion vote in the state.
Wisconsin is a crucial swing state that Al Gore won by 0.22% in 2000, and John Kerry won 50%-49% in 2004. Both campaigns are targeting Wisconsin in 2008. These early numbers would indicate that Obama has a better chance of not having to work as hard to carry the state in November as Gore and Kerry did. I suspect there is a little bit of a post primary bounce occurring in these polls for Obama, but I think that he could win the state by five or six points in the fall.
All of these early polls do point out that the underfunded McCain campaign is going to have a hard time remaining competitive with Obama’s 50 state strategy, especially if they start out behind and have to play catch up. Historically speaking it has been nearly impossible for an underfunded candidate who starts out trailing to come back and win the election in November. If Obama makes in roads in red states, and forces McCain to spend money in places like Georgia and North Carolina, I don’t see how the GOP can win in November.