Well, for all of you who put great stock in the vaunted Newsweek Poll (I’m looking at you Omar) apparently that lead has vanished entirely. Last month Newsweek had a poll which showed Obama with a 15 point lead over John McCain. A month later, the new poll shows Obama has lost all of that momentum and is now in a virtual tie with McCain, up 44-41 (within margin of error). Here is some of the analysis that Newsweek attributes to the fall of Obama:
Obama’s reversal on FISA legislation, his support of faith-based initiatives and his decision to opt out of the campaign public-financing system left him open to charges he was a flip-flopper. In the new poll, 53 percent of voters (and 50 percent of former Hillary Clinton supporters) believe that Obama has changed his position on key issues in order to gain political advantage.
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. This is a major concern since Obama’s outsider credentials, have, in the past, played a large part in his appeal to moderate, swing voters.
The real dirt of this this poll comes from suspicious sampling done by Newsweek, the L.A. Times, and to a lesser extent even Ras and Zogby do this. The June sample had 324 Democrats and only 231 Republicans in the sample. The July sample had 324 Democrats and 315 Republicans. No one is sure what the actual party break-down will be in October, they are basically guessing at this point, but surely it will not be as wide as the June poll indicated. I do expect the Dems to have a wider party break-down in the fall, but its not going to be R/D/I 28/35/33 as many polls suggest.