Both Rasmussen and Gallup’s tracking polls have McCain up only 1% today. This is, as we all know, a slight decrease from McCain’s position just a week ago. So is McCain doing something wrong? Did Palin’s interview hurt? Is the Messiah working his magic again?
We are seeing a natural tightening of the polls that is to be expected 10 days after the conventions ended. The race is returning to equilibrium. Do not be shocked if Obama regains a 2 to 3 point lead, which is where he was prior to the conventions. I don’t think we will see the same pattern as before, with Obama always ahead in the polls, but expect that most polls will show a +/-2 point lead or loss for either candidate. Going into next Friday’s debate, this race is deadlocked nationally.
The state-by-state race is similar. McCain’s campaign should be THRILLED that Ohio and Florida appear to be solidifying. Not having to spend as much time or resources there makes it more difficult for Obama to win. Given that states like PA, MI, MN are now back to just a slight Democratic advantage, this means McCain can afford to play on blue turf. If he can turn any one of those three, he wins, period.
But the state-by-state race also shows pitfalls for McCain. He needs to hold on to two of the three southwestern swing states: NV, NM, CO. Nevada appears to be a likely victory. New Mexico, who knows? Colorado really is the big kahuna, but I fear that the trends there favor Obama. Unless there REALLY is a 4-6% national deficiency in Obama’s numbers due to racism, this race nationally and in Colorado is very, very close.
I’d like to see McCain pull away in October, but I don’t know if that will happen. The debates can (and hopefully will) change things.