NBC poll: McCain now within the margin of error -- thanks to Hillary supporters

Best. Convention. Evah.

Yet perhaps the biggest factor keeping the presidential race close has been Obama’s inability to close the deal with some of Hillary Clinton’s supporters. According to the poll, 52 percent of them say they will vote for Obama, but 21 percent are backing McCain, with an additional 27 percent who are undecided or want to vote for someone else.

What’s more, those who backed Clinton in the primaries — but aren’t supporting Obama right now — tend to view McCain in a better light than Obama and have more confidence in McCain’s ability to be commander-in-chief.

For these reasons, Hart believes that Clinton’s speech on the Tuesday night of the Democratic convention will be a significant event. “The Democratic convention is more than a coronation,” he says. “It is an event where the words of Hillary Clinton are probably going to be exceptionally important.”

Hart adds, “The Hillary Clinton campaign may be over, but the Clinton factor remains an important part of the election.”

Maverick leads big on Iraq, terrorism, and Russia/Georgia but Obama’s up by 20+ on health care, jobs, and the environment. The X factor appears to be Hillary nuts, so devoted to their own cult that they can’t quite bring themselves to join the Messiah’s. In fact, she leads McCain by six in a hypothetical match-up, twice the margin Obama enjoys. Painfully obvious exit question: If it’s true that Obama hasn’t yet asked his VP to join the ticket, does this data force him to go with Her Majesty? According to the Journal’s breakdown, fully 11 percent of all voters say they’d vote for Hillary for president if she were running but they won’t for Obama. So diehard are her fans, in fact, that she’s had to put together a “whip team” to make sure they don’t do anything nutty to embarrass Barry O at the convention. (Would Obama’s camp let her go to that trouble if they knew she was going to be the nominee?) The hour is at hand, my friends. Which way do we root?