According to the most recent Rasmussen Poll, the presidential race has evened out: “Obama holds a statistically insignificant 47% to 46% advantage.”
Previous to this poll, Obama had been leading McCain by about 7 points.
The favorable verses unfavorable ratings have changed: “McCain is now viewed favorably by 56% of voters, Obama by 54%. Obama receives unfavorable reviews from 44% of voters while McCain is viewed unfavorably by 41%. McCain earns favorable ratings from 32% of Democrats while Obama is viewed favorably by 22% of Republicans. Among unaffiliated voters, McCain is viewed favorably by 58%, Obama by 54%.”
The poll mentions as a matter of interest that “55% of Democrats have a Very Favorable opinion of Obama while just 33% of Republicans are that enthusiastic about their nominee. However, 86% of Republicans have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of McCain while only 80% of Democrats have such an opinion of Obama. Other key stats on the race can be found at Obama-McCain: By the Numbers.”
These last numbers indicate that McCain has some work to do shoring up support within his party. The high number of Republican who have a “somewhat favorable opinion of McCain” is a measure of a disposition to vote in favor of the candidate.
The candidates have yet to face each other in debates, so all the polls are merely indicative at this point.
McCain has proposed a number of Lincoln/Douglass-like debates in which the candidates would travel the country engaging in face-to-face encounters, but the Obama camp prefers the race to be filtered through the media, which so far has reported mostly on speeches, press opportunities, blog chatter and ads.
Speeches to mass gatherings so far has served Obama well.