Bad News and Good

For reasons that appear to relate to solidifying support among Democrats, Barack Obama has pulled out to a five-point lead in today’s Rasmussen tracking poll. Today’s Gallup poll isn’t out yet, but this survey indicates that Gallup is finding the same movement of temporarily disaffected Democrats into the Obama camp.

On a brighter note, the party identification numbers continue to move the Republicans’ way. We noted here, the ten-point gap in party identification that the Democrats enjoyed in May of this year has been narrowing. That trend continued in August, with the Democrats enjoying a 5.7 percent edge, down two points from July.

We are now very close to the 6.1 percent advantage that the Democrats enjoyed in November 2006; actually a little better, from a Republican perspective. In all likelihood, the trend toward Republican identification will continue between now and November. Likely the Republicans will go into this year’s election in perceptibly better shape than in 2004, but with a wider gap in party ID than in 2004, when the Democrats held a 1.6 percent advantage.

UPDATE: The Gallup Poll reflects the same Obama surge that Rasmussen identified, with Obama now up by 8.

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