Gallup And Rasmussen Tracking Polls: Obama McCain Race A Tie
Two key polls find the race between Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Senator Barack Obama for the White House is now effectively a dead heat — placing American once again smack-dab in the middle of an election season with an almost evenly divided electorate.
And a slew of other polls from several important states continue to show McCain on the upswing — and Obama on the downswing in terms of where he was weeks ago.
But now there is a big, fat wild-card now thrown into the deck: the impact of recent news about the meltdown on Wall Street — news that will permeate the economy and touch voters via ripples in terms of job loss, pensions losing value and possibly a big bank closing or being taken over by a bigger bank.
The Sept. 13-15 Gallup Poll Daily tracking update shows John McCain (47%) and Barack Obama (46%) locked in a close contest when registered voters are asked for whom they would vote if the election were held today.
The race has been in a statistical dead heat for the last five days, after McCain’s lead grew to as large as five percentage points following the Republican National Convention. In essence, the race is back where it was before the flurry of political activity that began Aug. 25 with the Democratic National Convention and continued through the Republican convention, which concluded on Sept. 4. The candidates were dead even at 45% in Aug. 22-24 tracking, the last report of interviews conducted entirely before the beginning of the Democratic convention.
And the wild-card:
It is unclear to what extent this week’s headline news about the collapse of Wall Street financial institutions and changes in the stock market will affect the race. Obama has generally held the advantage when Americans are asked which candidate would better deal with the economy, though McCain was able to close the gap after the Republican convention. Monday night’s interviewing did show Obama doing better than he has been in recent updates, but it will take several days to see if he can sustain an improved position.
Rasmussen reports McCain still ahead — but barely. He is slowly heading southwards in the polls. Could this be (1) the novelty of his Vice Presidential pick Gov. Sarah Palin wearing off and/or (2) the emergence, even before Black Sunday on Wall Street, of increasingly troubling financial news? Rasmussen:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows John McCain attracting 48% of the vote while Barack Obama earns 47%. This is the third straight day Obama has been at 47% while McCain has dropped a point on each of the past two days. One week ago, the candidates were tied at 48% …
Investor confidence fell sharply overnight, but the instant reaction on Main Street has so far been more muted. Rasmussen Reports daily tracking of economic confidence shows that 65% of American consumers say the economy is getting worse. That’s down from 77% a few months ago, but up from 60% a week ago. Forty-three percent (43%) of voters say the economy is the top voting issue for Election 2008 while 23% name national security issues as the highest priority.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters say they trust McCain more than Obama on the economy while 45% trust Obama. These figures are updated weekly and have generally found voters evenly divided.
While the economy and many other underlying factors in Election 2008 are favorable to the Democrats, one often overlooked fundamental may be helping John McCain stay competitive–the Democrats’ historic difficulty in winning a majority of the popular vote.
But GOPers shouldn’t panic and Democrats shouldn’t start smiling yet.
Some other polls:
–McCain now gained in New Jersey and the two candidates are almost even.
–McCain and Obama are now even in Minnesota.
–A poll finds Obama slipping in New York.
–McCain is now up in Florida.
–McCain has pulled ahead in Ohio.
Some points about these polls:
1. McCain is clearly focusing on winning some key states and not worrying about every state in the country. And the trending towards him is favorable — unless the news from Wall Street will under cut it.
2. Obama’s supporters and campaign sources in reports talk about his great ground game with self-assurances. But he who lives, bets money, or measures White House drapes on assurances may not be as wise as Confucius…
3. The media turning on McCain and McCain now snapping at members of the media won’t help him in the long run. The race will be decided by undecided voters and how many voters both of these candidates can attract that are outside of their party’s bases. A media writing stories that contribute to a narrative about a credibility gap or candidate testiness won’t help McCain.
UPDATE: More interesting poll results HERE.