Today’s Washington Times newspaper ran a summary of the polls in 15 battleground states. Some states had one poll and some states had several showing the various candidates leading in different states.
I assigned a state to a candidate if all the polls in the state cited in the Times showed that candidate leading beyond the statistical margin of error stated for the poll. For example if Kerry leads Bush by 2 points with a margin of error at 4 points, I called it a tie. Also if Bush leads Kerry in one poll beyond the margin of error, but in another poll for the same state he did not, I called that a tie too.
Here are the results:
George Bush leads John Kerry beyond a statistical margin of error in all polls for the following two states: Missouri, Nevada.
John Kerry leads George Bush beyond a statistical margin of error in all polls for the following four states: Maine, New Jersey, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
Tie states were: Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
I ran through the data a second time, this time assigning a state to a candidate if that candidate was leading in at least one poll. Because some states had multiple polls, some showing one candidate leading and some showing another, some candidates are assigned to more than one state.
Bush has 9 states: Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Kerry also has 9 states: Florida, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Two states had exactly tied polls: Minnesota and Wisconsin.
There are two morals to this story:
It depends on how you look at things.
It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.