Gains for McCain in latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll
Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. McCain still trails slightly among the broader universe of "registered" voters. By both measures, the race is tight.
The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.Among registered voters, McCain still trails Obama, but by less. He is behind by 3 percentage points in the new poll (47%-44%) vs. a 6-point disadvantage (48%-42%) in late June.
Who is a likely voter? In this poll, Frank says, that was determined by how much thought people have given to the election, how often they say they vote and whether they plan to vote in the election in November.
He says the number of likely GOP voters is up for now, probably in part because of Obama's trip and the "laudatory" media coverage of it. "At least in the short term it may have had the side effect of energizing Republicans," he says. Also, he says that McCain's sharp words about Obama and the media last week may have energized his faithful.