The polls for Obama both nationally and in the key battleground states are simply stunning. Normally, one month out, these such positive results would be good for Obama's media narrative and fundraising and would cause mirror image problems for McCain. These would be nice advantages in and of themselves but that would be that. This election is different thanks to the prevalence of early voting.
Based upon the Obama campaign's impressive early voting operation during the primary, it is highly likely that, during the early voting window, poll leads equal vote leads. This is particularly important given the mixed results Obama is liekly to see amongst late deciders.
Thus it behooves us to take a snapshot of the race in polling terms now in those battleground states in which early voting (as defined by the ability to vote either in-person or by mail without special justification) is currently underway:
Current polling: Obama 48% McCain 46% (RCP average)
Early voting window: DCW: Ohio has absentee in-person and by-mail voting available to all voters. September 30th – November 3rd.
Obama primary early voting effect: CBS: For instance: in the Ohio primary, Obama lost to Hillary Clinton by 57% to 41% among those who decided within a week of that election. Obama did a bit better getting 45% among those who’d decided earlier.
Current polling: Obama 50% McCain 45% (RCP average)
Early voting window: DCW: October 20th-October 31st (in person) or now- November 3rd (vote by mail)
Obama primary early voting effect: No early voting in the Colorado Democratic Caucus.
Current polling: Obama 48.6% McCain 45.6% (RCP average)
Early voting window: DCW: Florida has early voting and mail-in voting. October 20th-November 1stst (in person) or now- Nov 4th (vote by mail)
Obama primary early voting effect: Unknown due to uncontested Primary.
Early voting states start dates
New Mexico Oct 6, Minnesota Oct 6, Indiana Oct 6, North Carolina Oct 16, Nevada Oct 18
Once early voting is underway in these states we'll consider the snapshots there.
Absentee voting only
Vrginia, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire