(Bumped -- kos)
You may recall this same USA/Gallup from last month, wherein McCain was up by 4 with Likely Voters, but this time around it's Obama by 3. Do we really think things have changed so much, or did Gallup just screw up the last poll? McCain's never above 45 anywhere else, which tells you something about his appeal.
The national polls and the trackers are simply not showing a surge for McCain. Obama leads by 2 to 5 points in the last 7 non-trackers over the last week (and ties or leads the trackers.) But you can bet that, flawed concept or not, if McCain had gone from 4 down to 3 up in the Gallup poll, it'd be plastered all over the news.
LV Aug. 21-23 (July) (June) MoE +/- 4
Obama 48 (45) (50)
McCain 45 (49) (44)
• On Obama, half of those surveyed worry he "may be too closely aligned with people who hold radical political views," and 57% say they're concerned he lacks the experience to be an effective president. Basically unchanged since June: 53% say he can handle the responsibilities of commander in chief; 44% say he can't.
• On McCain, four in 10 worry he is too old to be president — he turns 72 on Friday — and 67% say they're concerned he'll pursue policies too similar to Bush. Nearly half of respondents, 48%, say McCain has attacked Obama unfairly, compared with 30% who say Obama has unfairly attacked McCain.
Like the other polls show, this one says McCain is developing a reputation as unfairly attacking, as well as being too close to Bush. Obama's problems are inexperience and radical politics. The latter the convention should deal with, the former is supposed to be what Biden is for.
And as we all know, the media is fixated on Obama's problems and ignores McCain's (the polls say the Bush-McCain association has been made, for example, and will only be reinforced by a GOP convention featuring George W. Bush.)
In any case, another poll, another very small Obama lead within the MoE, another day gone, and things get interesting tomorrow with Michelle Obama's speech.
Let the games begin.