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Want to have fun with polls? This is a great one to play with.

Start with Marc Ambinder earlier today (referring to the Q-poll with Obama up by 9):

Note: be wary of likely voter screens at this early stage; registered voters are usually a bit more palatable.

That's exellent advice, which you can see on display tonight with the the ABC/WaPo poll.

Using the preferred standard of Registered Voters:

7/13/08 (6/08), +/-3

Obama 50 (49)
McCain 42 (45)

Of course, if you just look at all adults (less preferred):

7/13/08 (6/08), +/-3

Obama 51 (48)
McCain 39 (42)

It's not in the WaPo data, but ABC World News also chose to present likely voters, whio showed a much narrower 3 point lead for Obama. The problem with that is that no one really knows what a likely voter is. ABC (Stephanopolous) purported to show a dropping enthusiasm gap compared to a few months ago, but the WaPo numbers show a steady 75% certain to vote for Obama and 68% for McCain. By, the way, it's a 10 point RV lead for Obama if you include Nader and Barr.

Oh, and George W. Bush is at 28%, lowest ever for this poll.

Under Bush, do you think America's image in the rest of the world has gotten better or gotten worse?

            Better   Worse   Same (vol.)   No opinion
7/13/08        10       82        6              2

In fact, ABC and the other networks are right that there's a 'close the deal' aspect to these numbers, especially in regard to foreign affairs. However, the dominant issue, as noted this am, is the economy, the consensus 'most important' issue; on that, Obama leads McCain 54-35, and is the poll's key number, along woth the albatross known as George W Bush.

Poll recipients would like Obama to specify more about what 'change' means, and on the whole

The overall political climate still bodes poorly for Republicans this fall, but the presidential race is relatively close in part because of persistent doubts about both candidates. Nearly three-quarters said some things about McCain worry them and nearly two-thirds said so of Obama.

It's only July, and it ain't over. But McCain is getting killed on the economy, and Bush's press conference performancve today isn't going to help.

And take note; for all the doubts about Obama there are more about McCain. Someone should tell ABC News.

Update [2008-7-16 10:15:40 by DemFromCT]: First Read:

(And right now, pollsters will tell you that with older voters leaning McCain these days, any likely voter model is going to favor McCain for now. If Obama moves younger voters as well as many observers assume come October, the likely voter numbers could change). In this poll, when you expand it to include all adults, Obama’s lead is 12 points (51%-39%). And two, 79% in the poll believe that Obama is an optimist versus 54% who say that about McCain. How many times has the more pessimistic candidate won a presidential election?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 04:53 PM PDT.

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