Barack’s Shrinking Lead

06Sep08

The three day Gallup tracking poll has tightened up considerably since the start of the Republican convention, with Barack now showing just a 2 point lead over McCain – 47% to 45%.

Obama had led McCain by as much as eight percentage points in recent days, both during and immediately after the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Those results reflected a convention bounce for Obama of four percentage points in his support among registered voters (from 45% to 49%). It appears that McCain is now enjoying a rebound bounce coming out of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul that is nullifying some of Obama’s gains.

Many of the people surveyed in this poll were interviewed before either Palin’s or McCain’s speeches.

The interviewing for today’s report partially reflects public opinion following the highlights of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday and Thursday nights when McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, made their acceptance speeches. This includes a strong night for McCain in Friday’s interviewing, the first full night of interviewing following his acceptance speech.

Monday is the first day that the tracking polls will reflect entirely surveys taken after the conclusion of the GOP convention, so that’s when we’ll start to get a true sense of the McCain/Palin bounce.

The first Gallup Poll Daily tracking report based on interviewing conducted entirely after McCain’s speech (from Friday through Sunday) will be published on Monday. The test for McCain will be whether he can do more than return the race to the absolute tie seen at the beginning of the convention period, and actually lead Obama by a significant margin for the first time since late April/early May.

Obama isn’t taking the turn of events laying down – he’s out fighting to defend himself as the agent of change.

“Don’t be fooled,” a particularly punchy Obama told a crowd this morning at a town hall meeting in Terre Haute, Ind. “These are the folks who have been in charge. John McCain’s party, with the help of John McCain, has been in charge.”

“Words mean something!” Obama said of Palin’s reputation as an anti-earmark champion. “You can’t just make stuff up.”

As always, the McCain camp is ready with its own rebuttal.

“Barack Obama has requested the equivalent of $1 million in new pork-barrel spending for every working day he’s been in the U.S. Senate, while John McCain has never once asked for an earmark, and Gov. Palin has vetoed hundreds of millions in government spending including killing the infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere’,” Bounds wrote in an email response. “Just like so many other issues Barack Obama is all talk, has no record to back it up and isn’t ready to make change.”

Like Barack says – “you can’t just make stuff up.”

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