Opinion: New poll finds sudden drop by Obama into statistical tie with McCain


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Remember that Newsweek magazine poll a few weeks back that portrayed a big advantage for Democrat Barack Obama in his contest with Republican John McCain for the White House?

Well, forget it.

The newest Newsweek poll shows pretty much what the daily tracking poll of the Gallup organization has been recording for some time now: a virtual tie between the two major-party candidates for president among voters surveyed nationally.

Newsweek says the virtual tie portrayed in its latest poll, as compared with the 15-point lead that Obama enjoyed in a poll reported June 20, is ‘hard to explain.’


‘A month after emerging victorious from the bruising Democratic nominating contest, some of Barack Obama’s glow may be fading,’ Newsweek now reports. ‘In the latest Newsweek Poll, the Illinois senator leads Republican nominee John McCain by just 3 percentage points, 44% to 41%.

‘The statistical dead heat is a marked change from last month’s Newsweek Poll, where Obama led McCain by 15 points, 51% to 36%.

‘Obama’s rapid drop comes at a strategically challenging moment for the Democratic candidate,’ Newsweek adds. ‘Having vanquished Hillary Clinton in early June, Obama quickly went about repositioning himself for a general-election audience -- an unpleasant task for any nominee emerging from the pander-heavy primary contests and particularly for a candidate who’d slogged through a vigorous primary challenge in most every contest from January until June.

‘More seriously, some Obama supporters worry that the spectacle of their candidate eagerly embracing his old rival, Hillary Clinton, and traveling the country courting big donors at lavish fund-raisers, may have done lasting damage to his image as an arbiter of a new kind of politics.’

There’s more to this surprising statistical midsummer turn of events, and our colleague Mark Silva has the full details in the Swamp.

-- Andrew Malcolm