SHOCK: Obama Up By 8 In West Virginia?

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Obama: 50%
McCain: 42%

Is this an outlier? Perhaps. But even if it is, the race is probably a lot closer to being tied than most think.

The key here is Independents are breaking for Obama 50% to 38%. And I think, once again, that this shows the Palin pick doesn’t necessarily speak to “small town Americans.”

Nate Silver has some analysis…

Nevertheless, if Obama has a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania — and all of the polls seem to think that he does — that means he’s had to have made at least some progress in the “Pennsyltucky” region in the interior of the state.

And if he’s made progress in Pennsyltucky, that probably means he’s made progress in West Virginia. West Virginia — like Pennsylvania — is also a place where the Democrats retain a substantial edge in party identification, and perhaps the economy has really brought Democrats home.

Indeed, for the past week or so, just about every poll taken in a Kerry state has shown Obama with a double-digit lead, with the minor exception of Minnesota, where the polling has been erratic.

Maybe there’s more room for electoral gains than I had thought…