I won’t say we’re off to the races just yet… While McCain’s Sarah Palin debacle may help inflate Obama’s numbers in the near term, you can be sure the GOP has some nasty nasty tricks up its sleeve come October. Still, Gallup’s latest tracking poll sure looks good, as do the latest Gallup/USAToday polling numbers:
The new survey shows Americans settling into their choices. Twenty-one percent of registered voters say they either haven’t decided or might change their minds. In a USA TODAY Poll before the convention, 30% were swing voters.
Among other findings:
â€¢Obama eliminated McCain’s advantage as “a strong and decisive leader.” By 46%-44%, those surveyed says that characteristic applies more to Obama than McCain. Before the convention, McCain held an 8-point advantage. Obama has a 13-point advantage as someone who “shares your values,” almost double the edge he held before. He has an 8-point advantage as someone who is “honest and trustworthy”; pre-convention, they were equal.
â€¢On handling issues, Obama and McCain are rated equally in handling Iraq â€” 47% prefer Obama, 46% McCain â€” while McCain has a 9-point advantage in handling terrorism. Before the convention, McCain had a 22-point lead. Obama has a 19-point lead in managing the economy.
â€¢Obama has eased concerns about experience, but they remain a significant factor. Fifty percent of those surveyed say they are very or somewhat concerned about his experience. Before the convention, 57% were.
â€¢McCain’s favorable-unfavorable rating was 54%-38%, a healthy mark but his highest unfavorable this year. Obama’s rating was 61%-32%.
In the poll, Democrats continue to benefit from an “enthusiasm gap.” By 57%-28%, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they are more enthusiastic than usual this year. By 47%-39%, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are less enthusiastic than usual.