Zogby: McCain LeadsA Reuters/Zogby poll presently shows John McCain with his largest national lead of the campaign so far-46 percent to 41 percent-outside the margin of error:
In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McCain has opened a
5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race and is seen as a stronger manager of the economy, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.
McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41
percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first
lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.
McCain now has a 9-point edge, 49 percent to 40 percent, over Obama on the
critical question of who would be the best manager of the economy -- an issue
nearly half of voters said was their top concern in the November 4 presidential
I have long said that McCain can defeat Obama if he goes on the attack, as Barack Obama has far more negatives attached to him than the media has hitherto led the general public to believe. The McCain camp has not planted doubt about Obama in the minds of voters, so much as they have successfully managed to reinforce the doubts that already existed in the minds of voters.
National polls-as we have said in this space before-should never be seen as the arbiter of a presidential election. The polls in each individual State give us a far better barometer of where things would stand were the election held today. However, the nationwide numbers can give us evidence of a general shift in voter attitudes and let the informed observer know when there is a potential change in the electoral trend-and that is what we are beginning in observe in this case.
Just as in 1988, when Michael Dukakis held a decent lead through the summer that dissipated in August, Barack Obama has held a sometimes substantial lead through the summer that has fallen to pieces in the month of August.
None of this means that McCain can be assured of victory, as Barack Obama's numbers can be expected to tighten when he announces his running mate-a move expected within days. John McCain's new solidified position in the polls makes his announcement of a Vice Presidential nominee all the more important. If McCain chooses a candidate that could cause the conservative base to warm to him, his position in the national polls may begin to stabilize, but if McCain alienates conservatives by his choice, he could blow a golden opportunity to pull off the biggest media political upset since Harry Truman in 1948.