For the first time this election, John McCain leads Barack Obama in a Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll. McCain has a statistically insignificant 47-46% when counting leaners.

Update: See all updated recent polls here.

Obama’s favorability rating is tumbling. He is now viewed favorably by 51% of registered voters compared with McCain by 55%. Even within his own party, Obama is viewed favorably by 81% of Democrats, while the GOP candidate is viewed favorably by 87% of Republicans. Both of these numbers are stunning turnarounds. View the Rasmussen poll results here.

In hindsight, the trip to Europe appears to have rubbed people the wrong way while economic challenges are primarily on voters’ minds. McCain has taken full advantage, recently unleashing a flurry of advertisements which depict Obama as elitist and out of touch with everyday concerns.

John McCain’s comprehensive energy policy has been embraced by the American electorate, which has caused the democratic candidate to recently flip-flop on offshore oil drilling. Obama could have helped himself by following through on a pledge to debate McCain in a series of town hall meetings, but he backed out of that promise last week. And Iraq is stabilizing thanks to the surge, turning what was once an advantage for Obama into a new question about the candidate’s judgment.

All of this stacks up to a precipitous Obama drop in the polls. Can he recover? Of course! But Barack Obama’s once substantial lead is now ancient history in the political cycle. He will need to do something new to stem the tide.

Clearly it is raining McCain.

McCain Leads Obama (McCain Girls Video)