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Sunday, March 23, 2008

McCain Lies Low as Numbers Rise

(Editor's note: This long-weekend, I'll recap the week that was in presidential politics, showing why all three contenders have a reason to enjoy a Good Weekend. Friday was Barack Obama, yesterday was Hillary Clinton, and today John McCain. Happy Easter.)

This post will show polls implying that the fierce, elongated Democratic Primary has swung the momentum in the favor of the Republican Party. I'll do this by looking at general election polls that pit John McCain vs. Barack Obama before and after John McCain's nomination.

Real Clear Politics keeps track of nearly ever major poll conducted for the general election, seen in this link. If one takes a look at the last two months, February and March, RCP has identified 26 major polls in a potential Obama-McCain match up. They come from a large number of sources, including, but not limited to: Rasmussen, Gallop, Time, Fox News, CBS News, CNN, USA Today, Reuters, Zogby, NBC, Newsweek, and the Washington Post.

Here's what we find: From February 1 to March 2, the month before Mike Huckabee conceded and McCain clinched the nomination, RCP tracked sixteen McCain-Obama polls. Obama won fourteen of them. McCain took only two. Obama won his by an average of seven points. McCain won an LA Times poll by 2 and a USAToday/Gallup poll by 1. Clearly, Obama was polling much better than McCain before McCain won the GOP nomination.

When one takes a look at the McCain-Obama polls since March 4, however, one sees that the two candidates split the ten polls 5-5. In contrast to the previous month, Obama only won his five by small margins (5, 3, 2, 1, and 1). What's more is that McCain won the last three in a row, and he won them by an average of four points.

Obama and Clinton can only afford to attack each other. Neither is able to waste time or money attacking McCain. McCain is facing no competition. As such, Obama and Clinton's negative numbers continue to rise, similar to McCain's positives. The drawn out Democratic Primary is seemingly hurting the Democratic Party, though future posts will try to disprove this. Stay tuned for that.

Responses to reader emails and comments coming tomorrow.

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