Back On Track
A bunch of new polls show the momentum is back with Barack Obama.
Political Wire had this, yesterday:
Three of the four major daily tracking polls now show Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain. As Gallup notes, 'from a broad perspective, the race remains a statistical tie. But there has been a general drift towards Obama since McCain moved to a five-point lead over Obama through the weekend after the GOP convention.
CNN/Time has Obama and McCain tied in Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Keep in mind that only Wisconsin is a traditionally Democratic state, while no Republican has ever won the presidency without Ohio. If McCain's going to have a realistic chance to win this election, Obama should not even be close in Florida.
And the New York Times/CBS poll shows both that the Palin effect is wearing off, and that the economy is beginning to hurt McCain:
Polls taken after the Republican convention suggested that Mr. McCain had enjoyed a surge of support particularly among white women after his selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate but the latest poll indicates “the Palin effect” was, at least so far, a limited burst of interest."
For some, it was new and exciting, until they took a closer look. As I've made clear, I'm not interested in Palin's personal issues, but I do think the scrutiny of her dishonesty, extremism and lack of qualifications has been critical. Prove that she was a terrible choice, and you prove that McCain is unfit to be president.
This poll found evidence of concern about Ms. Palin’s qualifications to be president, particularly compared with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, Mr. Obama’s running mate. More than 6 in 10 said they would be concerned if Mr. McCain could not finish his term and Ms. Palin had to take over. In contrast, two-thirds of voters surveyed said Mr. Biden would be qualified to take over for Mr. Obama, a figure that cut across party lines.
And 75 percent said they thought Mr. McCain had picked Ms. Palin more to help him win the election than because he thought that she was well qualified to be president; by contrast, 31 percent said they thought that Mr. Obama had picked Mr. Biden more to help him win the election, while 57 percent said it was because he thought Mr. Biden was well qualified for the job.
Ultimately, though, it comes down to this:
The poll was taken during a period of extraordinary turmoil on Wall Street. By overwhelming numbers, Americans said the economy was the top issue affecting their vote decision, and they continued to express deep pessimism about the nation’s economic future. They continued to express greater confidence in Mr. Obama’s ability to manage the economy, even as Mr. McCain has aggressively sought to raise doubts about it.
The 1992 Clinton campaign had a mantra. After another eight years of Republican misrule, that mantra is as valid as ever.