This morning two new state polls were released that have bucked the recent polling trends in both states.
In Minnesota, the Star Tribune poll shows a tightening race, with Obama up only 3, 47 to 44. Their last poll in mid-September had Obama up 8. Romney is up by 1 with independents and has shrunk the gender gap since last month. The sample of the poll is 38 percent Democrat, 33 percent Republican, and 29 percent independent or other. In 2008, Democrats topped Republicans by only 4 percent, meaning that this poll is actually working with a larger edge for Democrats in turnout than 2008. While Minnesota is still considered a blue state and other polls have shown bigger leads for Obama, this latest poll is not the kind of news Team Obama wants to see with just over a week to go. The Ohio News poll is drawing even more attention this morning as they show an even tie at 49 percent. This is a change of 5 points from mid-September when Obama led 51 to 46. The tightening is due to Romney’s improving among males, high-school and college graduates, and in every age group outside of 18- to 29-year-olds.
The Ohio News poll does not have a large slice of independents, because they push independents to lean to one party or another, so there is not a lot of information to take from the slice of 10 percent that is left among pure independents. This also might affect the partisan ID breakdown, which is 47 percent Democrat, 44 percent Republican, and 10 percent independent. In 2008, Democrats had 5-point edge in turnout; in 2004, Republicans had a 5-point edge.