Signs have been pointing all month to an Obama fade and a McCain surge, but now the poll numbers are really starting to show it. This morning CNN reported that their “poll of polls” (always beware of poll averages, but that’s a story for another post) showed that the gap between Obama and McCain had narrowed to two percentage points.
Then they turn right around to show that Senator McCain has a five point lead. Nationally.
It has been just a bad month for Obama. I think alot of this has to do with what will end up being a major strategic error in not selecting his running mate. If Obama had gone ahead and selected a running mate that is more moderate (not a certainty, given that only one of the top three is know as a true DLC type), he likely could have softened the blow of the constant barrage of media profiles that have highlighted his left leaning views and his true Chicago political style. At that same time, McCain has been able to galvanize his base–perhaps the best thing that has happened to him was the Saddleback appearance, in which he was able to state his opposition to abortion. Some feel that this could hurt his chances with moderates, but McCain’s larger problem has been making sure that conservatives stay on board and don’t defect to any third party candidacy in large numbers.
McCain’s statement, along with revelations about just how liberal Obama is on abortion, seems to have helped push Catholics and born-again Christians away from Obama. Additionally, Obama has lost his lead on economic issues, perhaps again owing to revelations that his views on economics seem to be far away from those that have been favored of recent vintage. With a book coming out soon that will argue that Obama needs to paint a bold “progressive” vision for the nation’s economy, this case against him may only be bolstered.
As I’ve argued several times, polling is as much an art as it is a science. But if this Reuters poll, along with polling showing that Indiana is evolving into soft McCain territory rather than a battleground, the momentum in this race is clearly in John McCain’s favor.
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