In the Arena


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Well, it’s official, even if it isn’t all that significant: Barack Obama’s poll ratings bounced moderately after his convention speech. This increases the likelihood that we’ll go into the main act of this campaign–the debates–with the candidates tied, since McCain will probably have a bounce of his own after his convention speech on Thursday…Unless, these polls are a reaction to both Obama’s speech and McCain vice presidential selection, which they may well be. (The daily tracking polls tightened a bit when Palin was named, but Obama regained strength after people began to get more information about Palin.)

These national polls are of limited utility. As Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe said last week, the only polls worth watching are local surveys in 18 battleground states. But there’s a certain zeitgeist value to national poll movement, especially when they occur outside the margin of error. And Obama seems in a stronger position now–after his Biden pick and acceptance speech–than he did a week ago.