The game of electoral ping-pong continues, with a considerably stronger polling day for Barack Obama:
In addition to these state-level results, Obama also gained ground in the Gallup and Rasmussen national tracking polls, which have him ahead by 6 and 5 points respectively.
Scott Rasmussen's polling suggests that the Berlin speech played fairly well, but then again, you might have thought the same about Obama hanging out with the troops and sinking three-pointers, or the imagery of his flying in a helicopter above Baghdad with General Petraeus and Chuck Hagel, and those didn't seem to move the numbers much. There is, I suppose, a distinction in that there is no real policy issue on the table in Germany in the way there is in Iraq -- and Obama's speech was notably light on specifics.
But people seem to like these sort of big, cinematic moments, and that's something to keep in mind as we head into the conventions. When I saw Howard Dean speak in Austin, he appeared to be dropping hints at some of the themes the Democrats will emphasize in Denver -- they were all fairly high-minded, with one of the big ones being the face that Obama presents to the world. I'd expect the Democratic Convention to be a big-budget, high-production, optimistic, patriotic, and somewhat nebulously saccharine affair. In other words, I'd expect it to be the sort of convention you'd normally expect from the Republicans. I've been critical of Obama in recent days for his inability to channel his Inner Bubba, but perhaps the more theatrical, Ronald Reagan model is the one he was cut out for all along.
Mind you, none of this has much to do with any of today's polling results in particular. I think we're at one of those points where we need to wait a few days for the news cycle to settle down before we determine who, if anyone, has emerged with momentum.