There have been some interesting turns of events in the Presidential race. Last month, Barack Obama enjoyed a huge lead over Hillary Clinton, and was largely favored to win over John McCain. Obama is now only slightly ahead of Clinton, and the margin seems to be getting tighter. Even worse for the Democratic Party, the new Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday shows that McCain is now favored over Obama.
The problems began for the Democrats for two main reasons: 1) McCain clinched the Republican nomination early on, and has been able to focus his full efforts on the race for the Presidency. 2) Tactics and arguments have gotten dirty between the two Democratic nominees. Clinton especially has bombarded Obama with attacks in an effort to expose alleged weaknesses.
Whether or not the attacks on Obama are warranted, they have changed public opinion. If nothing else, they have worked to cast doubt in voters’ minds about the chances of Obama to win against McCain. During the Republican primaries, McCain’s biggest problem was fundraising, and his early victory has aided him greatly. Not only was he able to conserve funds, but his clear nomination allows him an advantage in raising additional funds going forward.
Results differ greatly from poll to poll, and many voters don’t really decide until the very end, so no poll will be perfectly accurate. Democrats probably shouldn’t worry about the Reuters/Zogby poll at this point, but they should be aware that the longer the battle for the Democratic nomination draws out, and the more intra-party fighting goes on, the more advantage McCain will gain.