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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