"State polls may be even more valuable ultimately because that is the primary trail. They reflect the presence of very intense campaigning that other states are not getting," Miringoff said.
Even a month before the first votes, a state poll can be extremely misleading, Donahue cautioned. At this point in the 2004 race, Democrat Howard Dean had a huge lead over John Kerry in New Hampshire, where Kerry won. At this point in the 2000 race, Republican George W. Bush led Arizona Sen. John McCain in New Hampshire, but lost that primary by 18 points, she said.
"In 2000 and 2004, the polls were so incorrect at this point in time as to be completely meaningless," she said.
Why was McCain attacking Ron Paul in the last debate? Because he knows that Ron Paul is not a dark horse anymore, he's the front runner.