…of course the one that counts comes in November. But the daily
number crunching the media engage is as a constant ‘beauty contest’
between Sens. Obama and McCain just started to get a bit more
interesting, even if it’s only a blip.

Obama returns from a highly successful Middle East and European tour, on which he dazzled foreigners, and Reuters reports that McCain has been the (or a) beneficiary.

Democrat Barack Obama’s highly publicized foreign trip
does not appear to have increased confidence in his ability to be
president and may have helped energize supporters of Republican John
McCain, according to a poll published on Tuesday.

Allowing for the margin of error, the poll shows the candidates statistically even now.

The data published in USA Today’s Tuesday editions
showed Obama leading McCain 47 percent to 44 percent among registered
voters, down from a 6-percentage point lead last month. Meanwhile,
McCain led 49 percent to 45 percent among likely voters, reversing a
5-point Obama lead in group.

If there were ever a time for an Obama bounce (which he didn’t
really get after Hillary Clinton dropped out), this would be it. But he
didn’t get it.

One thing I noticed in this poll
was Obama’s slight lead among “registered voters” and McCain’s slight
lead with “likely voters”. That seems to be news. Wasn’t it Obama’s
campaign that energized about a zillion young and/or first time voters
to get involved in the electoral process? And with McCain’s party
conservatives (if not party in general) seriously reluctant to back him
but always ready to criticize him….he now holds the lead in likely voters?

This is change alright. Probably one Obama didn’t count on.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....