|If the Election Were Held Today|
276 Electoral Votes
168 solid, 66 likely, 42 iffy
149 solid, 85 likely, 28 iffy
Analysis Oct. 26, noon ET: Trouble for the president. He's trending down in the Reuters/Zogby tracking polls in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The map appears to be firming up: Nevada, New Mexico, and Iowa to Bush; Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania to Kerry. The back-breaker is Florida, where Bush has won only two of the last seven polls. One (Gallup) is clearly out of whack. If the other (Zogby tracking) drops again tonight without countervailing evidence, Bush will be out 27 electoral votes, needing Ohio and Wisconsin just to tie.
Update 7:30 p.m. ET: Tonight's Reuters/Zogby polls are out, and basically everything we thought was a trend isn't. Florida and Ohio did not slide further to Kerry. Nevada and New Mexico did not firm up for Bush. Minnesota and Michigan did not firm up for Kerry. The next state in danger of switching sides is Wisconsin. But that's what we thought about Florida today, and it didn't happen. We'll have the numbers and more for you in the morning.
How to read the tables: The following tables track the latest polls. The first table shows surveys in the most closely contested states. The second table shows surveys in states that are expected to go to one candidate but might be picked off by the other. In the left column, each state and its electoral votes are marked dark red, light red, light blue, or dark blue, depending on which candidate is leading in that state (red for Bush, blue for Kerry) and with what degree of certainty. Slateawards electoral votes based on our poll analysis, which appears in the right-hand column. We color a state gray if it's likely to split its electoral votes. New polls are highlighted in yellow. (A) means a poll was automated. (O) means it was online. (D) means the polling firm is Democratic; (R) means the firm is Republican.
The other tables below track national surveys. In the Trial Heat, respondents were asked for whom they would vote. On Job Approval, they were asked whether they approve or disapprove of Bush's performance. On Re-Elect, they were asked whether Bush deserves to be re-elected or not. On Right Direction, they were asked whether things are going in the right direction or are on the wrong track. On Favorable Rating, they were asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable impression of each candidate.
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