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Had McCain’s attacks backfired? Or had the wall-to-wall media coverage of Obama’s trip simply buried the Republican message?
Monday afternoon’s release of the USA Today poll, with McCain leading by four points among likely voters, answered “no” to those questions, and was echoed yesterday when Rasmussen’s tracking numbers showed Obama’s lead shrunk to 47-46. Meanwhile, the Democrat’s margin in yesterday’s Gallup tracking poll was down to 6 points — the same 47-41 edge he had on July 21.
It is still only July and, as pollsters routinely caution, their results are only “snapshots” of current opinion, not predictions of Election Day results. The dog days of August and national conventions loom ahead, and the outcome will ultimately depend on the events of the next three months.
For the past three months, however, all those polls showing Obama in the lead fueled a sense of inevitability that cast shadows of doom among Republicans.
What happens if the polls should shift the other way? What fate befalls the frontrunner who falls behind? Just ask that formerly “inevitable” nominee, Hillary Clinton.