Barack ObamaJohn McCainPresident 2008

John McCain Watch: Improvement in the Polls

The poll shows this campaign is about Barack Obama, not John McCain, Gerald F. Seib reports

John McCain, who according to conventional wisdom is doing poorly in his Presidential race with Barack Obama is hanging in there with American voters.

Those findings suggest voters’ views of Sen. Obama are more fluid than his relatively steady lead indicates. In the latest poll, 47% say they prefer Sen. Obama to win, while 41% say Sen. McCain, the same lead Sen. Obama enjoyed a month ago. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The campaign’s unusual dynamic appears to be the result of an anxious nation now sizing up an unconventional candidate who presents himself as the agent for change, which voters say they want. The contest thus parallels in some ways the 1980 race, when voters seemed ready for a change away from Jimmy Carter and the Democrats, but weren’t persuaded until late in the race that they could be comfortable with a former actor and unabashed conservative, Ronald Reagan, as commander in chief.

Flap remembers Peggy Noonan writing a piece some weeks ago and saying that Americans will make up their mind at the last minute as to whether to trust Obama or not.

The campaign will grind along until a series of sharp moments. Maybe they will come in the debates. Things will move along, Mr. Obama in the lead. And then, just a few weeks out from the election, something will happen: America will look up and see the inevitability of Mr. Obama, that Mr. Obama has already been “elected,” in a way, and America will say, Hey, wait a second, are we sure we want that? And it will tighten indeed.

The polls certainly reflect her observations. In the latest battleground state polls, McCain has indeed made up some ground.

  • COLORADO: McCain 46% – Obama 44%
  • MICHIGAN: Obama 46% – McCain 42%
  • MINNESOTA: Obama 46% – McCain 44%
  • WISCONSIN: Obama 50% McCain 39%

In June’s poll, Obama lead in all four states

  • COLORADO: Obama 49% – McCain 44%
  • MICHIGAN: Obama 48% – McCain 42%
  • MINNESOTA: Obama 54% – McCain 37%
  • WISCONSIN: Obama 52% – McCain 39%

The MSM is aghast with Obamamania. But, this race is not over – YET.

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