Let me preface my remarks by saying that I am a firm believer that the national polling really does not matter until after the second convention. When both candidates have chosen their VP and held their conventions, then I think we will really get a good idea of how the candidates are stacking up. I know others disagree, and I know the folks at RCP and 538 and Kos are smart folks, I just still think the real game begins after the convention.
Despite this post’s headline, I would still characterize the race as tied, if not one in which Obama has a very slight edge. But it’s very interesting that, despite Obama having made no serious gaffes and having a country palpably ready to change direction, he’s losing ground.
Several possible explanations come to mind:
The Russia-Georgia crisis has brought national security to the forefront, to McCain’s advantage;
McCain’s strong showing at the Rick Warren Saddleback thing the other night helped him;
It’s summertime, nobody’s paying much attention, and this is some statistical fluke;
Negative advertising works
Perhaps all of those things are true.
Perhaps, although if I had to bet if there was an impact on the race, it would be #3 and #4. Then again, the question I have is that if Obama only leading nationally by a few points all summer was considered bad news for Obama, then clearly McCain taking the lead must be construed as bad news for John McCain. Or am I just not really understanding the premise that EVERYTHING IS GOOD NEWS FOR JOHN MCCAIN, and that when Obama was only leading by 5 it was bad news for Obama, and this is now CATASTROPHIC NEWS and the CAMPAIGN IS IN DISARRAY and they NEED A SHAKE-UP!
Personally, I eagerly await the vapid posts from a certain Hillary diehard that this is proof Obama must choose Hillary as his VP.