The Good News for John McCain
Several pundits and the McCain campaign itself, warned several weeks back that once the Democratic race was settled, Barack Obama would open up a ten point lead on John McCain as consolidation began among the Democratic ranks.
The major media declared the race over after North Carolina whena Obama won the state by 14% (though he was crushed among white voters by 61% to 37%). Super delegates seem to have accepted the media verdict - they have broken 31 to 2 for Obama since North Carolina.
But real voters, both in the Democratic primaries, and nationwide, seem to be unready to anoint Obama just yet. On Tuesday, Clinton destroyed Obama in West Virginia by 41%, and there was a record turnout for this state's primary. These things are not supposed to happen when a race is over. The national polls,or at least the two that track every day - Gallup and Rasmussen - still show just a 1 point race with Obama ahead of McCain, or in other words, a statistical tie
Some newspaper and network surveys show Obama with bigger leads, but these are surveys taken once every few weeks, with volatile mixes of voters by Party. Rasmussen and Gallup interview far more voters for their 4 day samples (4400 for Gallup, over 1600 for Rasmussen) and have much more consistency in terms of the profile of those interviewed each day.
The Republicans show every indication they will be routed in Senate and House races this year, but John McCain continues to run far ahead of his brand. Part of this is his unique status as creating his own brand and part is Obama's glaring weakness as a candidate. If Obama is in fact over-polling (as he has done consistently during the primary season), McCain may be ahead at a time when Obama should be pulling away.
Richard Baehr is The American Thinker's Chief Political Correspondent