Five days before the Democratic National Convention begins on Aug. 25, 2008 in Denver the latest Reuters/Zogby poll shows McCain leading Obama 46 to 41 percent among likely voters, which the poll found is outside the margin of error. Reuters/Zogby had Obama ahead by 7-points as recently as mid July.
David Paul Kuhn reports at Politico:
“Only one major national survey, a USA Today/Gallup Poll in late July, has shown McCain ahead since the general election began in early June. But that 4-point McCain lead was the mirror opposite of other national surveys taken over the same period, leaving reasonable suspicion it was an outlier.
“Today's Reuters/Zogby poll conducted from August 14 to 16, by contrast, seems to follow a recent trend in other surveys.
“A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll released Tuesday, and taken from August 15 to the 18, found that Obama's lead over McCain had fallen to within the margin of error, 45 to 43 percent. That same poll pegged Obama ahead by 12 points in mid June.”
“A more tepid shift was measured in another national poll taken from August 12 to 17 by Quinnipiac University. That survey had Obama leading 47 to 42 percent. However, the same poll in mid July had Obama leading McCain 50 to 41 percent.
“The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found, in a poll taken July 31 and August 10, that Obama was besting McCain by narrow margin of only 46 to 43 percent. Pew's mid July polling had Obama ahead by 5 points. In late June, Pew had Obama ahead by 8 points, 48 to 40 percent.
“For the first time Tuesday McCain has also pulled ahead, though tenuously, in the Electoral College count, 274 to 264, according to the RealClearPolitics average of state polling that includes narrow leads in swing states. The shift occurred after Indiana—the home of Democratic vice presidential prospect Sen. Evan Bayh—switched to McCain's electoral coffer.
“The Reuters/Zogby poll, which was taken by telephone of 1,089 likely voters and had margin of error of 3 percentage points, found that no one factor explains McCain’s gain. In that poll the Republican presumptive nominee now narrowly leads among independents, a flip from last month. McCain has also sown up his base, leading with conservatives 74 to 15 percent.
“Meanwhile other polling has shown that Obama continues to have problems with his base. McCain continues to have more support from his base than Obama has from Democrats, though Pew measured an increase in support among evangelical Protestants even before the Saddleback forum Saturday night. Some of Obama’s weakness continues to be rooted in his inability to win over about the fifth of Clinton’s support.”