In the first sign that voters are coalescing around Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee, two daily tracking polls notice a widening of the gap over his Republican rival John McCain. Both Gallup and Rasmussen now have Obama holding a gap of 6% over McCain. The numbers in parentheses show the point change from last week:
Obama 48% (+3)
McCain 42% (-4)
Margin of error: 2%
Obama 50% (+4)
McCain 44% (-2)
Margin of error: 4%
Chris Bowers notices that the gap grew significantly after Hillary's concession speech on Saturday, which suggests that the spread has only just begun:
Obama appears to be rising even faster following Hillary Clinton's concession speech on Saturday than he rose from Wednesday through Friday. Since Clinton's speech, despite only a two-day sample, Obama has gained 5% relative to McCain in Gallup, and 3% relative to McCain in Rasmussen. Cumulatively, that is more than half of Obama's gain, despite only having a two-day sample (the tracking polls measure three days, according to both websites).
Rasmussen also notices that Obama is not doing poorly among women voters, as is commonly presumed in most coverage:
Pollster Scott Rasmussen says that as of today, based on 3,000 automated telephone surveys over the past three nights, Obama gets support from 52% of the women in his national tracking poll compared with 40% for presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. He says that's better than Democrat John Kerry did with women against President Bush in 2004.
Scott attributes Obama's performance to unification within the Democratic Party over the past few days. "Before last Tuesday, Obama routinely earned around 70% of vote from Democrats," he tells us in an e-mail. "He's up to 81% today. Clearly the party has been coming together."
All of this, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt. A bump is one thing, but it remains to be seen is Obama will sustain this lead over McCain.