Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Missouri back to being a swing state in the presidential race?

Posted by on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Its paint-by-numbers in Missouri this morning.
  • University of Texas
  • It's paint-by-numbers in Missouri this morning.
Missouri looks a bit more purple on the map this morning. The latest poll from SurveyUSA found Missouri voters essentially even in the presidential race. President Barack Obama has 44 percent of the vote, while Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has 45 percent (with a potential error of 4.1 percent).

In the release of the poll data, SurveyUSA cautioned that these numbers shouldn't be seen as a reaction to Romney's selection of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as a running mate — only 57 percent of the 720 people polled were contacted after the Ryan pick was announced. Instead, what the poll does suggest is that Missouri could be in play.

In July, a different poll told a different story. Rasmussen Reports showed Romney with a six-point lead (50 to 44 percent). Missouri was believed by many national pundits — and even the candidates, based on their campaigning schedule — to be comfortably leaning Republican. Former presidential candidate John McCain carried the state in 2008 by a margin of 0.1 percent.

Polling numbers in August are ultimately like preseason football — fun to watch for a while, but hard to put too much stock in. But with the Kansas electoral votes as close to a lock as any red state in the country, a tight race in Missouri would move us from campaign flyover country into a must-stop on the bus tour. And let's face it, it's a lot more fun to be in the mix as we head into November.
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