Even though there are several national polls showing Sen. Barack Obama pulling ahead (most likely as a result of the two candidates' responses to the Wall Street stock and credit crisis), the more important Electoral College tallies are showing Sen. John McCain gaining ground.
Yesterday's CBS News/ New York Times poll shows Obama retaking a lead. But today's Electoral College tally by electoral-vote.com shows Obama, who two weeks ago was winning in states with more than 300 electoral votes, at 243 and Senator McCain at 274, while states with 21 electoral votes are showing the two dead even.
The political consequences are becoming increasingly clear: the economy is going to drown out every other topic and both parties are struggling to find good responses. This is going to be easier for Democrats than Republicans, in part because the answer most voters want aligns well with the Democrats' traditional response: the government needs to regulate big business. The traditional Republican response is to let the market do its work and reward winners and punish losers. Eventually it will settle down. But for millions of people worried about their jobs, their houses, their investments, their pensions, and their futures, just waiting it out may not be so popular.
Why the difference? Could be that state polls aren't produced on a daily basis as some of the national presidential polls are, so the impact of this week's Wall Street tumble did not yet sink in when the state polls were taken. It could also be that Obama is ahead nationally, but not in key swing states. Stay tuned!!!