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Posted by on Sep 18, 2008 in Politics | 6 comments

Gallup Daily Tracking Poll: Obama Widens Lead Over McCain To 4 Points

The latest Gallup Daily Tracking poll offers more evidence that Republican Presidential nominee Sen. John McCain’s convention bounce is returning bungee-jump style to pre-convention levels amid the worsening situation on Wall Street, pundits’ thumbs-down for his negative campaign and a host of controversial flubs.

Gallup reports:

The Sept. 15-17 Gallup Poll Daily tracking update shows Barack Obama with a 48% to 44% lead over John McCain among registered voters, marking the first time that Obama has held a statistically significant lead in two weeks.

The presidential race has essentially devolved back to a structure very similar to what pertained throughout the months of June and July, during which time Obama consistently averaged a three percentage point lead over McCain. There have been fairly significant shifts over the last several weeks, including periods of time in and around the conventions during which both Obama and McCain established leads, and times when the race was essentially tied. But beginning this week, it appears the voters have settled, for the moment, back into the familiar pattern in which the race remains close with a slight tilt towards Obama.

Separate Gallup tracking shows that consumer confidence has become significantly more negative as this week progressed, signifying that Americans are clearly paying attention to the major problems facing Wall Street and the big drops in the stock market on Monday and Wednesday.

McCain is making news right now, but the wrong kind. So it’s unlikely his numbers will go up soon, barring some big unforeseen development or Obama mistake.

McCain’s comments that the economy was fundamentally-sound was first-finessed by Vice Presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin, until McCain, in the face of widespread criticism and a new Obama campaign ad, made a virtually-total about-face. Then came a minor international incident in which McCain basically implied he wouldn’t be interested in meeting with Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister. Critics pounced and the McCain campaign stood by the comments even though some believe McCain was confused about the country about which he was talking. McCain’s camp said he knew full well who he was talking about. So this controversy –which can’t help McCain image or win him independent voters beyond his GOP base — will stay alive for a while.

Then he said he’d fire the SEC Chairman as President, which ABC suggests is a flub since a President doesn’t have the power to remove the SEC Chairman. And the McCain campaign insists he does. Expect some upcoming stories to definitively explain the reality and, if McCain is proven wrong, it’ll be a story (if he’s proven right, the story will appear as a small blip).

There’s a flow in political campaigns — and right now the flow is against McCain, but this could change. Meanwhile, a new poll shows Obama taking the lead in Indiana.

See RCP’s list of polls here. Its average of polls now has Obama ahead of McCain by 2.2 percentage points.

There seems to be a shift in other polls.

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