A poll conducted for the Indianapolis Star finds that Barack Obama edges John McCain in one of the reddest states of them all, Indiana:
The pollster was J. Ann Seltzer of Des Moines who correctly predicted the outcome of the Iowa Caucus, that is, the victory of Barack Obama in the Iowa causes, an unexpected result and one that propelled Obama on his path to the nomination. The Star observes:
The poll, conducted Sunday through Tuesday by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, also revealed a geographic disparity between the two candidates: Obama, the Democrat, holds a 54 percent to 40 percent advantage in Indianapolis, but McCain, the Republican, leads in all other regions of the state, including Northwest Indiana.
The Washington Post this morning uses John McCain’s gaffe that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong” as a point of departure to analyze the race. That point of departure perhaps illuminates something of the meaning of this poll. It seems apparent that the race is returning to the position where it stood prior to the two nominating conventions. Dan Balz observes in that article that McCain faces a landscape where the political fundamentals are completely unsound:
1. An economy where every gain has now been wiped out (and then some: my pension fund has lost 25 percent of its value the last few months);
2. An impossibly unpopular president;
3. An overwhelming sense that the country has lost its way;
4. The Republican Party with a terrible public image; and
5. An imbalance in registration between the parties that greatly favors the Democrats.
Balz doesn’t throw in the towel for McCain’s chances, and neither must we, but he observes, as this poll out of Indiana might suggest:
Absent external events, (McCain) was doing well. With the economic news of this week, the polls hint at a deflation in his position. The playing field has once again tilted slightly toward Obama, who now must take advantage of it.