McCain 54%, Obama 44%
If we’re being honest for a second, I think the USA Today/Gallup poll will be an outlier, like the poll a few months back that showed Obama with a 15 point lead. However, there’s absolutely no doubt that the GOP Convention—and McCain’s pick of Palin—did exactly what they needed to do in shaking up the race from the inevitable loss John McCain was facing. Consider:
McCain has narrowed Obama’s wide advantage on handling the economy, by far the electorate’s top issue. Before the GOP convention, Obama was favored by 19 points; now he’s favored by 3.
Combined with McCain’s dominance of Obama in the polls on matters of national security and Iraq and you have a country that likes Barack Obama but trusts John McCain.
Now, a lot can and will happen in 60 days. McCain needs to do well at the debates, we need to hope another shoe doesn’t drop about Palin that causes another week of bad coverage, and our vaunted GOTV effort needs to be on par despite a slightly depressed base. From everything I’ve seen of McCain’s campaign locally, that shouldn’t be a problem. And finally, McCain needs to pick up Michigan or Pennsylvania. I just don’t see him winning the election without it.
Still, McCain has accomplished what no other Republican running for President could after the public’s disdain for the Bush years. With less than sixty days left, we have more than just hope for victory; we have a fighting chance. Let’s make it happen.