Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Obama reaches new high in Gallup tracking poll

By Michael J.W. Stickings

According to Gallup's tracking poll for October 5-7 -- that is, for the three-day period preceding last night's debate -- Obama holds a 52-41 lead over McCain. The "52% share of the vote is Obama's highest to date."

The trend is pretty clear. Gallup cites "[c]oncern about the economy" as the driving factor, but surely there are other factors at play here: the bursting of the Palin bubble, Obama's strong performance in the first presidential debate (on foreign policy), Biden's strong showing against Palin last week, greater public confidence in Obama (with respect to leadership generally), and McCain's cynical ploy to fake-suspend his work on the Bailout Bill. Democrats may also be more energized now than they were around the time of the RNC, when the Palin pick dominated the news, and independents may be moving to Obama.

The fact is, the race isn't close right now. Obama is well ahead in terms of both the national popular vote and the electoral college vote. There is still time for McCain to close the gap, of course -- anything can happen, I keep telling myself -- but there is no denying that Obama is in a strong position to win the election. (And his lead could increase after his decisive win last night.)

No doubt, though, with the desperation sinking in, the venom and negativity from McCain-Palin will only increase as the election approaches.

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