Survey USA: Obama by six in Virginia, up four points in two weeks; Update: Women indifferent to Palin's abortion position?

The margins in Gallup and Rasmussen are unchanged from yesterday and probably/hopefully won’t move much before Friday’s debate so we need new polls to obsess over. How does Virginia turnin’ baby blue grab you?

Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll released one week ago, Obama is up 1 point; McCain is down 1 point; compared to a SurveyUSA poll two weeks ago, Obama is up 4, McCain is down 4.

Since 1952, Virginia has voted Republican 13 times and Democrat only once, in 1964. Today: In the Washington DC suburbs, Obama now polls at 59% and leads McCain by 21 points. Obama leads by 10 in Southeast VA and by 4 in Central VA. McCain’s regional advantage is confined to the Shenandoah, where he is 14 points atop Obama. Among women, Obama led by 6 points before Sarah Palin was named to the GOP ticket, now leads by 16.

The good news: Survey USA consistently shows Obama doing better in the state than any other major pollster, some of whom have Maverick up big. The bad news: Survey USA’s usually pretty accurate. But never mind that. How do we explain the two-week bounce? If it’s all collateral damage from the financial meltdown, you’d expect to have seen the bulk of it last week, not the week before. That collapse in support for the ‘Cuda among women is eye-popping, although I’m not sure how to square it with the data from the new Lifetime poll showing a monster 34-point swing towards McCain on the question of which candidate better understands women and their concerns. Having to guess, I’d guess women didn’t like what they saw in the Gibson interview, but the obvious culprit — Palin’s position on abortion — doesn’t jibe with the big gain in understanding women’s “concerns.” Any theories?

Update: Ugh. Obama by five, says Hotline’s daily tracker, up four from yesterday. It looks like it’s coming from indies, doubtless due to economic concerns. Note: “Among women, Obama/Biden hold a 13% margin — equalling their largest lead among women in the tracking poll.” Women also gave Obama a huge advantage on the economy in the Lifetime poll.

Update: There’s more to Palin’s “ordinary gal” persona than just the gal part, of course:

The Palin pick also appears to be a galvanizing force among rural voters as a whole, according to another new poll – also out today – from the Center for Rural Strategies. Among respondents in the rural regions of thirteen battleground states, half said that Palin’s presence on the ticket has made them more likely to support McCain in November. But the poll’s results, which showed a 51-41 advantage for McCain, also underscore the deafening concern over the economy that dominates voters’ decision making. Fifty-one percent of the rural residents surveyed placed the economy and jobs at the top of the list, with other issues like energy (25%) and the war (21%) comparatively left in the dust.

Update: A key nugget from the Lifetime poll that explodes the abortion theory: Women don’t seem overly concerned about it.

The poll also looked at women’s views on Governor Palin and found that a majority (52%) of women had a mostly positive view while 29% were mostly negative and 13 percent neutral.

Of the women who had negative views, 48 percent said it was because of the governor’s position on the issues. Of that 48 percent, just 18 percent pointed to her pro-life position as the main position they opposed.

That means just 2.5 percent of all women surveyed in the poll indicated they disagree with Palin on the issues and say abortion is the reason why.