I’ve been trying not to pay too much attention to the national polls for the past several weeks primarily because I don’t see them as that significant of a barometer of how the race will actually go once it starts in September, but the latest Gallup Poll is interesting only because it indicates what may be the start of real movement by one of the candidates:
This represents a continuation of Obama’s front-runner position evident in the last three Gallup Poll Daily tracking updates. The margin, coincident with the extensive U.S. news coverage of Obama’s foreign tour, is the largest for Obama over McCain measured since Gallup began tracking the general election horserace in March. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
A key question remains as to whether this “bounce” is short-term (as happens to bounces in some instances following intense publicity surrounding a convention) or if his lead will persist — the answer to which will become evident in the next several days. — Frank Newport
The latest Rasmussen tracking poll shows a slightly tighter race:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows Barack Obama attracts 46% of the vote while John McCain earns 41%. When “leaners” are included, it’s Obama 49% and McCain 44%. McCain’s numbers are up a point from yesterday while Obama’s remain unchanged. Obama is viewed favorably by 56% of voters, McCain by 55%.
Obama has enjoyed a modest bounce in the polls since his Berlin speech on Thursday. To this point, however, he has not reached the 50% level of support or expanded his lead beyond where it was a couple of weeks ago. Over the coming week, it will be interesting to see if Obama could open an even bigger lead and move above the 50% level of support.
If that happens, the dynamics of the race will change significantly. Of course, as three of the last four Presidential elections have shown us, you don’t need to get above 50% of the popular vote to be elected President.