The latest Quinnipiac University swing state poll confirms that the Sarah Palin bounce is long gone as Obama is leading McCain beyond the margin of error in Colorado (49%-45%), Michigan (48%-44%), and Wisconsin (49%-42%). His lead in Minnesota (47%-45%) is within the margin of error.
Obama has gained three points in Colorado while McCain has lost two since last month. In Michigan each candidate gained two points in the last month, while in Minnesota each candidate gained a point. The McCain campaign has been spending a great deal of time in Wisconsin and it shows by the fact that Obama lost a point last month, while McCain gained three. However, Obama still leads by seven points.
When asked who was a better choice of running mate, Sarah Palin enjoys a small single digit advantage over Joe Biden. The exception is in Minnesota where she is more favored by 10. Palin’s impact with female voters appears to be nothing. When women were asked who they would rather see as President Joe Biden or Palin, Biden won all four states. Palin’s favorable ratings have dropped in these four states. Her favorable ratings range from 43%-40%
The change issue is not working for McCain. Obama leads by 22-23 points when respondents were asked who they thought would bring change. Obama leads in three of the four states on the question of which candidate better understands the economy, with the two candidates being tied at 45% in Minnesota. The strategic choice of Sarah Palin to act as a female maverick change agent has failed miserably. This can be attributed in large part to her underwhelming knowledge of the issues.
John McCain’s base is considered to be with voters over age 55, but he is losing these voters to Obama in 3 out of the 4 states. McCain runs best with older voters in Colorado where he leads by a single point, 47%-46%. Obama leads with older voters in Michigan (49%-41%), Minnesota (55%-40%), and Wisconsin (49%-43%).
Since older voters are more reliable voters, if Obama can win this group, he will expand his support in each state. McCain does not have a double digit lead among men in any of the four states, but Obama enjoys double digits leads with women in the 3 of the 4 states, and his smallest lead is in Minnesota where he enjoys a 6 point lead.
Now that the election is focused on the economy, the selection of Palin looks even worse. The campaign seems to view her as a liability on the issue, and seems to have adopted a strategy designed to beef up her foreign policy knowledge. If this election revolves around the economy, Palin provides no help, and McCain probably loses a few red states. A note of caution must be sounded here, as these numbers are close, and a single gaffe or mistake could change everything. However, if the status quo holds Obama has more paths to the White House on Election Day than McCain does.