A bounce or a short-hop?

For the past few months, I’ve been tracking, if you will, the Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls. They have pretty consistently confirmed that (a) Obama is 2 to 5 percentage points ahead of McCain and (b) things haven’t changed very much since Obama wrapped the nomination. My view has been that they likely won’t until the Democratic convention.

Last week, however, the two tracking polls showed some movement in Obama’s favor. In the Rasmussen poll, Obama’s lead, which had been hovering around 2 points, jumped to 5 or 6. And Gallup showed that a 2 to 4 point lead had lenghtened to around 8 points.

These results were hardly implausible in the wake of Obama’s trip abroad. In Iraq, that country’s Prime Minister made a series of utterances that, particularly as presented by our MSM, seemed to increase Obama’s credibility on how to handle the situation there. Then, Obama spoke to a huge crowd in Germany and was embraced by several key European leaders eager to get on the right side of a man they believe will probably be the next U.S. president. And at all of the stops along the way, Obama was in our news constantly.

Whether this small bump will hold in the coming weeks (assuming it is real to begin with) is subject to doubt. Already, Rasmussen’s tracking poll shows Obama’s lead back down to 3 points, essentially where it’s been for some time. Gallup’s tracking poll hasn’t shown any real post-trip decline in Obama’s support, but a Gallup/USA Today (non-tracking) poll actually has McCain up by 4 points. The poll was taken as Obama was returning from his trip overseas.

I doubt that McCain is ahead of Obama, but we can at least say that two of the three most recent polls already suggest no lasting trip-bounce for the Democrat.

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