Tracking polls show signs of hope for McCain

Dan Gordon and Richard Baehr
This trend may or may not mean much, but Obama's  numbers appear to have peaked a few days back. Whether Congressman John Lewis's racist comments have had anything to do with this, is unclear.  The markets appear a bit more settled. That of course helps McCain.  Here are the latest tracking numbers snd the Obama leads:

Gallup: 11% lead among registered voters, down to 7% (5% among likely voters)

Rasmussen: 8% lead down to 5%.

Among smaller sample tracking polls:

Zogby/Reuters: 6% lead down to 4%

Diageo/Hotline: 10% lead down to 6%

Battleground: 8% lead, still 8%

Research 200/Daily Kos tracking is worthless (Obama up 12%).   Any survey that shows a 25-30% difference in Obama /McCain net approval ratings is not a serious survey.    Sample has too many Hispanics, and young voters, and probably too many Democrats.

So McCain is likely a bit closer -- but huge structural advantages remain for him. To begin, there is an enormous advertising edge in the  battleground states  for Obama. Obama is far better organized in these states. Obama appears to have unlimited resources -- spending well over a hundred million a month for ads, and organizers. This will prove you can buy the Presidency, and in the future, every other candidate will do the same thing.. Obama is making more campaign stops in battleground states, which gets him free state and local media attention, as if he needs it, with virtually all the major national media completely in the tank for him already in their reporting.

As for the Electoral College, McCain's challenge is this: if the national polls continue to move a bit in his direction, he can certainly win the red states of   Florida (27), Ohio (20),Nevada (5),  North Carolina (15), Indiana (11) and Missouri (11).  All of these are winnable if the national race is very close. Behind by 5-6 points nationally, he is still ahead in Indiana, about even in North Carolina, and Missouri and slightly  behind in Ohio, Florida and  Nevada.

But McCain is further behind in four other red states: Virginia (13), Colorado (9), New Mexico (5), and Iowa (7).   To win the election, he  needs to win at least two of these four  states.  

McCain will be in Virginia today, trying to reverse his slide in that state.
This trend may or may not mean much, but Obama's  numbers appear to have peaked a few days back. Whether Congressman John Lewis's racist comments have had anything to do with this, is unclear.  The markets appear a bit more settled. That of course helps McCain.  Here are the latest tracking numbers snd the Obama leads:

Gallup: 11% lead among registered voters, down to 7% (5% among likely voters)

Rasmussen: 8% lead down to 5%.

Among smaller sample tracking polls:

Zogby/Reuters: 6% lead down to 4%

Diageo/Hotline: 10% lead down to 6%

Battleground: 8% lead, still 8%

Research 200/Daily Kos tracking is worthless (Obama up 12%).   Any survey that shows a 25-30% difference in Obama /McCain net approval ratings is not a serious survey.    Sample has too many Hispanics, and young voters, and probably too many Democrats.

So McCain is likely a bit closer -- but huge structural advantages remain for him. To begin, there is an enormous advertising edge in the  battleground states  for Obama. Obama is far better organized in these states. Obama appears to have unlimited resources -- spending well over a hundred million a month for ads, and organizers. This will prove you can buy the Presidency, and in the future, every other candidate will do the same thing.. Obama is making more campaign stops in battleground states, which gets him free state and local media attention, as if he needs it, with virtually all the major national media completely in the tank for him already in their reporting.

As for the Electoral College, McCain's challenge is this: if the national polls continue to move a bit in his direction, he can certainly win the red states of   Florida (27), Ohio (20),Nevada (5),  North Carolina (15), Indiana (11) and Missouri (11).  All of these are winnable if the national race is very close. Behind by 5-6 points nationally, he is still ahead in Indiana, about even in North Carolina, and Missouri and slightly  behind in Ohio, Florida and  Nevada.

But McCain is further behind in four other red states: Virginia (13), Colorado (9), New Mexico (5), and Iowa (7).   To win the election, he  needs to win at least two of these four  states.  

McCain will be in Virginia today, trying to reverse his slide in that state.