[Posted by WLS]
Something that should worry Dems about Obama’s current polling rut is the fact that he’s doing so after a pretty much non-stop campaign for 7 months since the first ballot was cast in Iowa, and nearly a year since the battle was joined in earnest after Labor Day 2007.
It has been discussed across the blogosphere and in the media that Obama continues to trail significantly the generic polling advantage that Dems have over Reps in the national polls, and that he is pretty much in a statistical dead heat in the national preference poll. But, as is less often pointed out, Presidential elections are really 51 separate elections with winner-take-all in the electoral college vote allocations (with a couple exceptions). This is where Obama’s bigger difficulties are revealed.
The problem is that one must consider the current poll standing of Obama v. McCain in the key battleground states where the contest will be decided, against the primary history of the last 7 months.
Consider Ohio — Quinnipiac’s polling out this week has Obama +2, 46-44. But that leaves 10% undecided. Why significant?
Obama and Hillary battled over Dem. voters in Ohio for a month, with each side spending massive amounts of money on advertising. Obama has been the rage of the liberal media for months, with nary a bad word spoken about him other than from his opponents.
Yet 56% of Ohio voters can’t say they would vote for him — and I suspect the number is higher than that once you factor in the “Bradley Factor.”
What more can Obama do to win over +4% more voters to get himself above 50%? I’m not sure there is anything he can do. Its hard to imagine that his standing in the eyes of the Ohio votes is going to get any better between now and November — how could he enjoy better coverage now than he did in March and April? He’s got the GOP firing hard shots at him now, not slap-fighting with members of his own party who agree with him on 95% of the agenda.
The same goes for other battleground states like Nevada. I spent 2 weeks in Nevada in January, and there were ads running non-stop for both Obama and Hillary. Yet the mid-July polling out of Nevada — when Obama was doing much better than he is now — showed him ahead 47-45.
Missouri — again, a huge battle with Clinton that he pulled out just barely, with each side spending a ton of money. Has elected Dems statewide the last couple elections. But Obama trails 49-44. With only one exception, Missouri has voted for the winning candidate in every Presidential election going back to 1904.
Obama hasn’t closed the deal with voters, and its hard to imagine how he can do so now in a contested general election compared to the primary election.