Today's Daily Kos Research 2000 tracking poll has Obama up over McCain 51-40. All trackers are data from three days prior to posting, with the R2K numbers from today (yesterday's numbers in parentheses) and the other trackers from yesterday (previous day's data). LV=likely voter, RV=registered voter.
Today's trackers will have Mon-Wed data.
Obama McCain MoE +/- RV/LV
Research 2000: 51 (51) 40 (41) 3 LV
TIME: 50 (46) 43 (41) 3 LV (data in parentheses from 7/31 - 8/4)
Pew: 49 (46) 43 (46) 3 LV (data in parentheses from 9/9 - 9/14)
AP: 48 (44) 43 (48) 3.4 LV (data in parentheses from 9/5 - 9/10)
D Corps (D): 49 (47) 45 (44) 3 LV (data in parentheses from 9/22 - 9/24)
CBS: 50 (46) 41 (42) 3 LV (data in parentheses from 9/21 - 9/24)
Added: Today's GWU/Battleground is Obama 49-44.
On successive days in the R2K poll, Obama was up +11 Mon, +9 Tues and +11 Wed (MoE +/- 5.1 for individual days.) The internals show the 60+ demographic at only +3 McCain (when we started the tracker, it was +15.) Sarah Palin's fav/unfav is now 40/53 (- 13, a new low) and McCain is now -3.
For those concerned about an 11 point Obama lead, please see CBS (+9). The Obama numbers for all the listed polls are 47-51 and McCain is 40-45 (45 is a number McCain has trouble breaking these days, whereas Obama hits 50 in several of the polls.) The range is Obama +4 (D Corps and Gallup) to +11 (R2K.) What is most important is the steady lead, the internals, and the environment (see yesterday's CBS poll discussion with Bush at an all time low of 22, and ABC/WaPo with Bush's unfav at a record 70.)
Several GOP strategists close to McCain's campaign privately fret that his chances for victory are starting to slip away.
These Republicans, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid angering the campaign, point to several factors: Obama's gains nationally and in traditionally GOP states, no McCain gain from the first debate, McCain's struggles with economic issues as the financial crisis has unfolded and deepening public skepticism about his running mate, Sarah Palin.
They said McCain's options for shaking up the race are essentially limited to game-changing performances in the final presidential debates or in Palin's vice presidential debate with Joe Biden Thursday night. Short of that, they said, McCain can do little but hope Obama stumbles or an outside event breaks the GOP nominee's way.
Also, more from a recent ABC/WaPo poll:
But it is the experience question that may prove [Sarah Palin's] highest hurdle, particularly when paired with widespread public concern about McCain's age. About half of all voters said they were uncomfortable with the idea of McCain taking office at age 72, and 85 percent of those voters said Palin does not have the requisite experience to be president.
The 60 percent who now see Palin as insufficiently experienced to step into the presidency is steeply higher than in a Post-ABC poll after her nomination early last month. Democrats and Republicans alike are now more apt to doubt her qualifications, but the biggest shift has come among independents.
In early September, independents offered a divided verdict on Palin's experience; now they take the negative view by about 2 to 1. Nearly two-thirds of both independent men and women in the new poll said Palin has insufficient experience to run the White House.
Tonight's debate is not likely to be a game changer in the polls
There was much criticism of Quayle after the campaign's televised vice-presidential debate, in which he compared his amount of Congressional experience to that of John F. Kennedy when he was running for president. Democratic candidate Lloyd Bentsen said in rebuttal, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy," to which a noticeably surprised and unprepared Quayle replied, "That was really uncalled for, Senator," as both applause and boos were heard from the debate audience. Bentsen replied that it was Quayle who had made the initial comparison. Quayle's reaction to Bentsen's comment was played and replayed by the Democrats in their subsequent television ads as an announcer intoned: "Quayle: just a heartbeat away." Comedians exploited the exchange, and an increasing number of editorial cartoons depicted Quayle as an infant or child. Though the controversy generated much press, public opinion polls did not significantly change [bolded mine], and the Republicans maintained a solid lead.
but it will be a great infotainment event, and a key factor in Palin's political future should her ticket lose the election. Bring the popcorn and reflect on the judgment of the top of the ticket.
Still, Palin or no Palin, it's all about McCain v Obama. From CBS poll:
The CBS News poll suggested one sharp contrast in the view of voters of Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain that might have been fed by the different ways the two men responded to the crisis. Forty-five percent said Mr. McCain acted too quickly when he made a decision, compared with 29 percent who said he did not act quickly enough. For Mr. Obama, 23 percent said he acted too quickly, compared with 41 percent who said he did not act quickly enough.
The bottom line is that no pollster knows exactly what the "right" answer is when it comes to the age of likely voters. Setting aside the wonky mechanics of the age of voters four years ago, we can only guess at the likely demographics on Nov. 4.
The Obama campaign has invested a small fortune toward boosting turnout among younger voters. Given the increased youth turnout in the primaries (as measured by exit polls), many Democratic partisans are convinced that the turnout among young voters will increase again in November.
R2K figures 18-29 at 18%; other pollsters (via Mark Blumenthal) are listed here. The 2004 exit poll had 17%, so that seems reasonable, and maybe a bit conservative.