Obama has commanding lead in four key states

A new round of polling shows the Democratic nominee trouncing McCain in states that were supposed to be competitive.

By Alex Koppelman
Published October 14, 2008 1:48PM (EDT)

Lately, it's looking more and more like this thing might really be over and that Barack Obama may be solidly in position to get the Electoral College votes he needs to become president.

 The most recent sign of that is a round of polling from Quinnipiac University, done in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal and WashingtonPost.com. Quinnipiac surveyed voters in four states that were supposed to be competitive -- Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin -- and found that Barack Obama holds a commanding lead in all of them.

Three of those states -- all but Colorado -- went to John Kerry in 2004, and earlier this year Republicans were hoping to snatch at least one away. (That's why the Republican National Convention was held in St. Paul, for instance.) That seems all but impossible now, however. In Michigan, Obama leads 54-38; in Minnesota, he's up 51-40; and in Wisconsin respondents went 54-37 for Obama. (The margin of error is roughly plus or minus 3 percentage points in each of the four states.)

Colorado, meanwhile, went for President Bush in 2004. But if this latest number holds, it's going blue this year. Quinnipiac reports that Obama leads there by 9 points, 52-43. With its nine Electoral College votes, the state is no Virginia, but it's a big prize nonetheless, one that would by itself put Obama almost over the top if he holds Kerry's states and adds Iowa -- which polls indicate he will -- to his column.

“Sen. Obama’s leads in these four battleground states are as large as they have been the entire campaign. Those margins may be insurmountable barring a reversal that has never been seen before in the modern era in which polling monitors public opinion throughout the campaign,” Peter Brown, Quinnipiac's assistant director, said in a release accompanying the results. "The only possible bright spot for Sen. McCain -- and you would need Mary Poppins to find it in these numbers -- is that he is holding roughly the same portion of the Republican vote."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz.