In June when Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign for the Democrat presidential nomination Obama advisers expected a solid 10% bounce in Obama's lead over McCain. In most polls they got little more than half that. Consequently, Obama's roadshow began to focus on women's issues in campaign stops in an attempt to shore up weak points among former Hillary voters.
Clearly Obama's private polling is reflecting the concern that has now openly surfaced after a raft of public polls have been released showing Obama losing ground to McCain. Rasmussen currently has Obama and McCain in a tie. Even the Newsweek poll which gave Obama the biggest "bounce" with a 15 point advantage over McCain now has him down to a statistically insignificant 3% lead.
One wonders how the Obama dizzy the Obama spinners will become trying to explain that one away?
It's clear that Obama has still not persuaded the Hillary voters that he's worthy of their support. In fact, Obama is losing support in this group according to the latest CNN survey.
Overall, the rolling Real Clear Politics graph of averages of all recent polling shows Obama with a less than 4% lead. That's down from the recent high of only 7%.
Obama's race to lose?
Still, Obama would seem to have every trend in his favor. Democrats remain highly enthused about the campaign and news stories about the election prominently feature Obama. You may have noticed that some news stories mention McCain as an afterthought. The Project for Excellent June 23-29 report states: "Obama has received significantly more coverage than his Republican rival. But from June 23-29, that gap widened to a 2-1 chasm. Obama was a significant or dominant factor in 82% of all the campaign stories compared with only 40% for McCain."
Other factors in Obama's favor:
President Bush's job approval rating is still very low (though Democrats in Congress are significantly lower). And that's usually seen as bad news for the GOP to hold the White House. Also the generic poll question about whether the country is on the right track or the wrong track is at record levels. Also a bad sign for the party that would attempt to hold the White House for another term.
Not All Rosy for Obama
History has a way of upsetting the ambitions of presidential candidates with a lead in July. This study by Gallup merits attention. Six out of nine July leaders in competitive presidential elections lost in November:
Readers may recall that John Kerry surged ahead of George W. Bush in early July only to see that situation reverse six weeks later. After that President Bush rocketed ahead with a lead that proved insurmountable.
McCain Muddling Along
And alas, McCain here may be just another afterthought. But he's got some good news too: He wins the votes of pet owners hands down!
The Poll You've Been Waiting For: The Pet VoteBut what the heck. Expect the Obamatons to explain it all away with another bit of conventional wisdom: polls before Labor Day mean little. Yep, that may be true. But you can bet if Obama were solidly ahead they'd be singing a different tune!
CQ Poll Tracker
July 8, 2008
McCain is favored by pet owners by a 42 percent to 37 percent margin (the margin of error is 2.3 points). Dog owners back McCain 43 percent to 34 percent.
McCain has an English springer spaniel (Sam), a mutt (Coco), two turtles (Cuff and Link), a black and white cat (Oreo), a ferret, three parakeets and he also keeps saltwater fish.
Obama has nada.
The pet industry estimates that 63 percent of American households have a pet.
As for those who don't, they favor Obama 48 percent to 34 percent.