Opinion: 2 new polls: Obama-McCain tied, but McCain-Palin surge among women

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Suddenly, it’s Poll City around here today.

As The Ticket reported earlier, the new Gallup/USA Today poll found a significant post-convention bounce for the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket, a turnaround of 8 points to give the M-S ticket a 4-point lead over Barack Obama-Joe Biden.

But now this afternoon come two more national polls essentially confirming the same trends with some significant subterranean changes:

-- the ABC News/Washington Post national poll of registered voters, which shows Obama’s 6-point August lead has evaporated to produce a 47-46 Obama-McCain statistical tie,


-- and a CNN/Opinion Research poll, which shows the race still tied at 48% apiece but McCain making significant gains in how voters view his handling of the economy, Iraq and healthcare.

The most surprising results -- and surely the most disturbing for the freshman Illinois senator’s camp -- are the immense gains McCain has made among white women following the Republican National Convention and the well-received prime-time speech by Palin.

In barely three weeks since before the Democratic convention last month, that crucial group of female voters has moved from 50-42 in Obama’s favor to 53-41 for McCain now.

That’s a huge 20-point shift in almost as many days, no doubt attributed in large part to the addition of a woman to the Republican ticket, Alaskan Gov. Palin, for the first time in the party’s 164-year history.

The same poll also revealed a large shift toward McCain in Midwest battleground states from a 19-point deficit to a 7-point edge. The same numbers also indicated Obama making little or no progress in the areas of having sufficient experience and wooing to his side former supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Obama still leads slightly among those who think he represents their values (48-44) and those who think he will bring change (51-39).

But McCain-Palin have pulled ahead among independents (50-43), among married women (48-44) and especially among white Catholics (59-36).


-- Andrew Malcolm