You all know that I’m poll afficianado, and I try to evaluate their results with a level of realism. So let me take a moment to hold up a hand and say “let’s curb our enthusiam” in response to Moe’s post about the Rasmussen daily track.
There are several polls, especially the Gallup track, that are showing McCain leading this thing now. And I firmly believe that we will not see many, if any, changes in the polls between now and the debates. However, the Rasmussen daily track is stubbornly continuing to show the same tie we had before the conventions.
I’ve said in the past that Rasmussen is the gold standard, and in 2006 I was really hoping that he was wrong (he wasn’t). So while I am optimistic regarding the results in other polls, I am not going to get too complacent until the Rasmussen daily track also starts showing McCain leading.
Now there is good news from Rasmussen. He is also showing strong movement by white women and independants to McCain. Also the favorables and issue identification continue to trend toward McCain. Given this movement, the fact that the race remains tied indicates that Obama has managed to solidify his Democrat base. But he needs to hold onto them, given that the other trends toward McCain are very unlikely to reverse. Obama also continues to be unable to get over 48%, which is a sign of significant trouble. Given the anti-Republican headwind out there, being unable to sway more than 50% of the electorate is a serious problem.
So far I’ve been impressed with the McCain campaign, and the Obama campaign has continued to show itself to be a bunch of rookies. But McCain needs to spend this month getting specific on policy proposals to address the bread and butter worries of the voters. He has gotten as far as he can making fun of Obama, now he needs to talk to the voters on their terms and get them excited about the changes he intends to bring to Washington.