Either Barack Obama’s “convention bounce” didn’t amount to much, or it’s been muted by reaction to the selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee, because both tracking polls have tightened.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday—the day before the Republican National Convention is scheduled to begin—shows Barack Obama ahead of John McCain by three percentage points both with and without leaners. That’s exactly the same edge Obama enjoyed a week ago on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.
Today’s numbers show a one-point improvement for McCain, but Obama still leads 47% to 44%. When “leaners” are included, it’s Obama 49%, McCain 46% (see recent daily results). Obama is now viewed favorably by 57% of the nation’s voters, McCain by 56%. Tracking Polls are released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day and a FREE daily e-mail update. is available.
There have been significant changes in perception of John McCain in the two days of polling since he named Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Since then, 49% of Republicans voice a Very Favorable opinion of McCain. That’s up six percentage points from 43% just before the announcement. Also, 64% of unaffiliated voters now give positive reviews to McCain, up ten points since naming his running mate.
Clearly, the Palin appointment has helped in the short-tun.
Yesterday’s Gallup Poll showed Obama up by eight, today that lead has shrunk to six points:
PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Aug. 28-30, including two days of interviewing since the close of the Democratic National Convention, finds Barack Obama with a six percentage point lead over John McCain in the presidential contest, 48% to 42%.
Though down slightly from the eight-point lead Obama held mid-convention, this represents a clear improvement for the Democratic candidate’s positioning in the campaign compared to a week ago when the race was about tied. The last Gallup update conducted entirely before Obama’s convention and vice presidential announcement was based on interviews conducted Aug. 20-22, and showed Obama up by two points, 46% to 44%.
As the recent trend shows, Obama did not gain any additional support in the poll since his generally well-reviewed acceptance speech on Thursday night. However, the Aug. 28-30 field period also includes two days of interviewing since the Friday morning announcement by McCain that he has chosen Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to join him on the Republican ticket. Thus, it is unclear whether the full positive impact on national voters of the Democratic convention or Obama’s speech would have been greater if not for the Palin announcement.
Gallup also notes that most Americans know almost nothing about McCain’s running mate at this point:
PRINCETON, NJ — The initial reaction of the American public to John McCain’s surprise selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate is muted, similar to the reaction of Joe Biden being named Barack Obama’s running mate.
Perhaps the most significant finding about Palin in the Aug. 29 USA Today/Gallup poll is that she is largely unknown to most Americans. A substantial majority of Americans don’t know enough about her yet to have an opinion, and her name identification is lower than that of any other recent vice presidential candidate when measured immediately after selection. Among those who do know her, her image is significantly more positive than negative, and her 3-to-1 positive-to-negative ratio is better than the 2-to-1 ratio measured for Biden a week ago.
A large majority say that at this point her selection will not have an impact on their presidential vote either way. However, almost as many Americans say that she is not qualified to serve as president as say she is qualified, giving her a more negative reading on this measure than most other recent vice presidential selectees, with the exception of Dan Quayle.
In a race as close as this one is, will that perception of Palin, if it continues, have an impact on the race ? Only time will tell