Monday, July 28, 2008

McCain Leads Obama 49-45 Among Likely Voters

Chris Bowers strained over the weekend to find some daylight for Barack Obama in polling data vis-à-vis John McCain, strangely seeing in Obama a move away from the ideological center in the Illinois Senator's European tour:

Obama has regained the sense of pride and inspiration that he lost with the appearance of moving to the center. Moving to the center, or really moving in any direction, is dangerous for a politician because it sends a message that the politician is ashamed and apologetic for who s/he actually is. This head-hanging feeling will almost invariably translate into a loss of support because, in the same way that we don't want to feel ashamed of our country or of ourselves, few Americans want a President who is ashamed of who s/he is. Thus, Obama's overseas trip was the perfect anecdote for the move to the center meme.
This is an unusual interpretation of Obama's trip.

Obama himself had "cast the tour as a chance for substantive discussion on issues relevant to the American public."

The tour, in other words, was a chance for the Illinois Senator to gain credibility with Americans in the mainstream, in contrast to what Bowers wants folks to believe.

What is more,
the European bounce for Obama that many hailed last week appears to have evaporated.

In contrast to the subjective reality among Bowers and his friends at
Open Left, McCain actually leads Obama among like voters in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey:
Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. McCain still trails slightly among the broader universe of "registered" voters. By both measures, the race is tight.

The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.

Among registered voters, McCain still trails Obama, but by less. He is behind by 3 percentage points in the new poll (47%-44%) vs. a 6-point disadvantage (48%-42%) in late June.

Results based on the survey of 791 likely voters have margins of error of +/- 4 percentage points -- so McCain's lead is not outside that range. Results based on the survey of 900 registered voters also have margins of error of +/- 4 percentage points.

Gallup editor Frank Newport tells Jill that "registered voters are much more important at the moment," because Election Day is still 100 days away, but that the likely-voter result suggests that it may be possible for McCain to energize Republicans and turn them out this fall.
See also, Rasmussen Reports, "Daily Presidential Tracking Poll," which sees Obama’s Berlin bounce collapsing:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that Barack Obama’s Berlin bounce is fading. Obama now attracts 45% of the vote while John McCain earns 42%. When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 48% and McCain 45%. Both Obama and McCain are viewed favorably by 56% of voters.
An interesting hypothesis is whether McCain's attack on Obama's indifference to wounded veterans - seen in McCain's "Troops" ad buy over the weekend - is having an effect on the numbers.

See, "
McCain: Obama All Politics On Iraq."