By DAVID MARTIN
Research 2000, a polling outfit in Maryland, may want to rethink its approach in Missouri.
A Research 2000 poll conducted in early July showed state Rep. Jeff Harris with a 10-point lead over the nearest rival in the Democratic primary for attorney general. Harris finished a distant third in the August 5 election.
At around the same time of the AG poll, Research 2000 asked 800 likely Missouri voters about Barack Obama and John McCain. The respondents said they favored Obama 48 percent to 43 percent, with 9 percent undecided.
But other polls, conducted before and after Research 2000's, indicate that McCain won't need to spend a lot of time in Joplin over the next seven weeks.
The Web site Five Thirty Eight is tracking polls in an effort to predict what the electoral-college map will look like in November. According to Five Thirty Eight's collating, only Research 2000 gives Missouri much of a chance to turn blue. McCain leads Obama by anywhere from 3 to 10 percentage points in other polls. The most recent poll, conducted by Rasmussan, shows McCain up 5 points on his Democratic rival.
Five Thirty Eight's data sifting puts McCain's chances of winning at Missouri at 88 percent. He's a 99 percent lock to take Kansas, Obama's mother's roots be damned.