The Plank

Today's Polls: Mccain's Polling Hole Deepens

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Are John McCain's negative attacks succeeding in eating into some of
Barack Obama's support? They certainly aren't yet. In fact, Barack
Obama has had perhaps his strongest individual polling day of the year:You
can read these numbers as well as I can. Obama leads by 6 in North
Carolina? 12 in Virginia? 7 in Florida? 3 in Missouri? Obviously, I am
cherrypicking some of the more pro-Obama results here ... but the point
is, there are a lot of favorable results these days for Barack Obama.The
larger Obama's margin in the popular vote becomes (and over the course
of the past several weeks, he's been gaining a full point on McCain
roughly every three days) the less the relative positioning of the
states matters. For John McCain to get back into this race, he is going
to need some dramatic events to occur, and we don't know in which types
of states such events might have a differential impact; something like
an outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East could make a very
different electoral footprint than new revelations about Barack Obama
and William Ayers.For that reason, the proper strategy is
probably now to play a fairly large map; Obama in particular wants to
keep as many doors open as possible if and when something bad happens
to his campaign.For the time being, however, John McCain is facing third and long -- and appears that he's about to get sacked.

--Nate Silver

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