Rasmussen has its daily tracking poll out, and to no great surprise, it shows John McCain jumping up another two points to take a slight lead over Barack Obama. However, another internal should cause more concern for Team Obama and the Democrats. After months of analysis about an “enthusiasm gap”, Rasmussen shows a confidence gap among voters — in McCain’s favor:
In the first national polling results based entirely on interviews conducted after the Republican National Convention, McCain attracts 47% of the vote while Obama earns 46%. When “leaners” are included, it’s McCain 48% and Obama 47%. …
Forty-one percent (41%) of voters say that they are certain they will cast their ballot for McCain and will not change their mind before November. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say the same about Obama. Overall, McCain is now viewed favorably by 60% of the nation’s voters while Obama earns positive reviews from 55%.
It doesn’t make much difference how enthused that 38% is. If Obama, after all of his great speeches and fawning coverage, cannot lock in more than 38% of the electorate with nine weeks to go, he’s got big problems. After spending $300 million, Team Obama certainly had to expect that they would have at least locked up the Democratic vote.
The favorability gap is another problem for Obama. Their strategy has been to tie McCain to George Bush and leverage the latter’s 30% popularity to erode confidence in McCain. Clearly, they haven’t succeeded. McCain addressed that in his acceptance speech, challenging Republicans to reform themselves and reminding the nation of his long track record of fighting both Republicans and Democrats on spending and waste.
His ratings have gone back up, while Obama’s have started to decline, just a week after the Democratic convention. Team McCain has decided to take a page from the Obama playbook and begin tying Obama to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid — and that may be more effective. Congress led by Democrats have a 9% approval rating, and Obama has almost no record at all of even voting against his party’s leadership. Indeed, he has voted 97% of the time in support of Reid.
Confidence and authenticity. McCain legitimately exudes both. The more American voters see of Obama, they less they appear to see either in him.