Thursday, August 21, 2008

McCain 'closing the gap'?

Newsweek's Andrew Romano:
Right now, much of the political world is obsessing over a series of new polls indicating that the gap between Barack Obama and John McCain is shrinking.
WSJ's Laura Meckler:
Sen. John McCain has all but closed the gap with Sen. Barack Obama, underscoring how international crises -- and some well-placed negative ads -- have boosted the prospects of the Republican presidential candidate.
In fact, if you look at all the recent poll data, McCain hasn't just "closed the gap," he's probably pulled ahead.

Look at yesterday's Gallup daily tracking poll: Obama 45%, McCain 43%. Remember, the Gallup daily poll surveys registered voters, not likely voters. Go back a month ago, and you'll see that when Gallup looked at only likely voters for a USA Today poll, the result was McCain 49%, Obama 45% -- at a time when the Gallup daily (registered voters) poll showed Obama leading by 8 points.

So if Gallup's daily numbers show McCain slightly trailing among registered voters, we should expect McCain actually to be ahead with likely voters -- which is what we see in both the Zogby and Battleground polls.

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