There’s no question the post-convention bounce Republicans enjoyed exceeded insider expectations, even mine. And as the days out on the hustings drag on, and Sarah Palin heads back to Alaska, several in Washington are wondering: Just how long is the shelf life on the McCain-Palin lead?
Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll today shows the race again in a dead heat, tied at 48, including leaners. But even if the other nationwide polls are accurate, and John McCain has a 2-to-3-point lead, it doesn’t really matter unless those national numbers start translating into McCain pulling ahead of Obama in key battleground states.
Sen. Obama was right yesterday when he said that, on a state-by-state analysis, he’s looking pretty good on the path to the presidency; consider that in order for McCain to win, he needs to hold all of the states that went red for George Bush. That means states like Iowa need to vote Republican this year, but that’s not likely, given McCain’s deep and vocal opposition to ethanol, the lifeblood of Iowa farmers.