The Rasmussen daily tracking poll finally shows John McCain getting the post-convention bounce that has appeared in almost every other poll.  Calling the sudden three-point jump “unusual”, it demonstrates that the shift in the race has become more substantial than merely a convention bounce.  McCain and Sarah Palin have changed the dynamics of this campaign, and Barack Obama simply hasn’t yet found a response:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows John McCain up by three points, his largest lead since Obama wrapped up the Democratic Presidential Nomination. For most of the past several months, Obama has held a modest lead with McCain slipping ahead by a single point on just three of the past hundred days.

McCain now attracts 48% of the vote while Obama earns 45%. When “leaners” are included, it’s McCain 49%, Obama 46%. Yesterday, the candidates were tied.

It is unusual to find a three-point jump in one day on the tracking poll. Daily tracking results are collected via nightly telephone surveys and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. Today’s gain for McCain comes partly from a good night of polling last night and partly from the fact that a good night for Obama on Monday is no longer part of the sample.

How bad is the crisis?  Rasmussen now has the state of Washington as a toss-up, with Obama’s lead in the traditionally blue state down to only two points. Only a month ago, Obama led by twelve and didn’t even break a sweat.  Now he trails among independents by five points, and he has lost six points among Democrats.

If Obama can’t hold Washington, he will have a very difficult time winning the election.  Moreover, it’s a bellwether for his eroding national standing in this race, and the erosion will only accelerate as long as Obama cannot demonstrate why he is an agent of change with no record of it, and why reformers like McCain and Palin with actual records of change somehow don’t measure up.  The Palin selection has stolen his theme, and Obama has been left flailing.