Suddenly, it looks as if the prize the Obama campaign has been publicly coveting for months is within reach: Two new polls show Barack Obama with a double-digit lead over John McCain in Virginia.
SurveyUSA, which comes in as far and away the most accurate pollster in FiveThirtyEight.com's rankings, puts Obama up 10 points -- 53-43 -- in its latest poll of the state, which was conducted over the weekend. (The margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.)
And Suffolk University is out with its own poll, also conducted over this past weekend. It shows Obama up by 12 points, 51-39. The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.
Virginia could potentially be the key to this election. If Obama can hold on to all the states John Kerry won in 2004, and then add Iowa -- which has consistently looked like it'll be a blue state this year -- and Virginia, he'll have 272 electoral votes, two more than the magic number of 270 needed for victory and the presidency.