Mixed news on the day, as Barack Obama gets two relatively weak results
in state polling while continuing to gain ground in the national
In California, Obama leads John McCain by 10 points according to Rasmussen. This is quite a step down from Rasmussen's result in June, when Obama had led McCain by 28 points. Their other California polling, however, had been closer, showing Obama in the lead by margins ranging from 7 points to 15. Regardless, California polling is mostly an academic endeavor in this year's election. The state is not competitive, and so far as I can tell, the Obama campaign does not even have a field office open there.
In South Carolina, it's McCain by 13 in a new Research 2000 poll for DailyKos.com. This is Research 2000's first poll in South Carolina, and so there are no trendlines for comparison. Nevertheless, this is the first South Carolina poll to show McCain with a lead in the double digits.
Obama is just about at his high water marks in the national tracking polls, however. Gallup shows him ahead by 7 points, tying his best-ever margin in that poll, while Rasmussen has him ahead by 6. What Obama's foreign policy trip may have done, and particularly his speech in Berlin, is to refresh enthusiasm among his core supporters. Fully 60 percent of Democrats now have a very favorable opinion of Obama, according to Rasmussen's latest numbers. That number is improved from 53 percent a week ago. During that time frame, Obama has gained 6 points of support among Democrats, capturing 82 percent of their votes rather than 76. Half of that gain comes from undecided voters, while the other half comes from McCain.