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Today's Daily Kos Research 2000 tracking poll has Obama up over McCain 50-43. All trackers are data from three days prior to posting, with R2K from today (yesterday) and the others from yesterday. Trackers will start to reflect Friday's debate performance today, but fully reflect it Tuesday.

                 Obama      McCain    MoE +/-   RV/LV
Today
Research 2000:  50 (49)    43 (43)    3         LV
Rasmussen:      50 (50)    44 (44)    2         LV

Yesterday
Diageo/Hotline: 48 (49)    43 (42)    3.2       RV  
Gallup:         49 (48)    44 (45)    2         RV

Yesterday's polling, the first after the debate, was the strongest Obama day picked up by the R2K tracking poll. He led 51-42, and therefore, Obama had a +9 on Sa to go with +5 Th, +7 Fri (MoE +/- 5.1 for individual days.) Sarah Palin's fav/unfav are now -10 (40/50), and Obama is +27 (his improvement is via dropping his unfav to 32.)

Let's include the winner-take-all markets today (with caveats):

Intrade  Obama 57.3 McCain 42.0
Rasmussen Obama 57.3 McCain 41.7
Iowa Electronic Market Obama 63.7 McCain 35.9

These all represent improvement from last week, when Obama led ~52-48.

Here's two more insta-polls. First, from MediaCurves, which along with yesterday's insta-poll and focus group summaries show the public (Dems and indies) thought Obama won the debate. Republicans do not matter, at least by themselves (take note, House Republicans.) 57 million people watched the debate.

One more thing. The Pew poll on foreign intervention, including Iraq, was covered here and was an important part of the debate. Anyone watching CNN (with their live graphs of fav/unfav) saw independent and Dem approval go up when Obama said the war was a mistake, and McCain was wrong about it.

The talking heads don't get it, but the voters do. The Surge™ is not a winning hand.

USA/Gallup:

A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows 46% of people who watched Friday night's presidential debate say Democrat Barack Obama did a better job than Republican John McCain; 34% said McCain did better.

Obama scored even better -- 52%-35% -- when debate-watchers were asked which candidate offered the best proposals for change to solve the country’s problems.

Commentary via Ambinder on these insta-polls:

A Democratic strategist passes along some contemporaneous notes from an instant-response dial group conducted for a major Democratic entity last night.

According to this strategist: whenever Sen. McCain leaned on Obama for being naive and repeated the phrase "Sen. Obama doesn't understand," the tracking lines nosedived.

I suppose that part of the problem was that McCain looked if he had a sharp spur in his shoe, and Obama's performance, whatever you made of it, did not sound naive.   So McCain's charges were inconsistent with what viewers were seeing.

Whenever a candidate said "subcommittee," it was a net loser who whomever was saying it, so when McCain attacked, Obama answered and McCain counterpunched, the lines all went down. The lesson: don't use Senate jagon in these debates.

The state of the race is a small but significant Obama lead, just at the margins of twice the MoE in the trackers. Since McCain was unable to put Obama away in his strongest debate topic (foreign policy), and since so much structurally favors Dems, if there are no more shake-ups in the race McCain will likely lose.

There are many opportunities for such a shake-up and the race is far from over. It will take until mid-October (after the third debate) for more certainty. Nonetheless, if the race were held today...

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 04:54 AM PDT.

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