The Changing Presidential Race after the Conventions

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The latest events in the presidential campaign have tightened the race dramatically. In Democracy Corps’ latest surveys of 1,000 likely voters nationally and 1,017 likely voters in the presidential battleground states, the vote margin has shifted 7 points towards John McCain nationally and 9 points in the battleground. This swing puts McCain ahead of Barack Obama by 2 points nationally (48 to 46 percent), consistent with the national public polls, and by 1 point in the battleground states (48 to 47 percent)


Though these results are challenging, this is still an election that Obama has at least an even chance of winning. In this memo, Stan Greenberg and James Carville analyze the new dynamics of the election that progressive Democrats and the Obama campaign should address to get the race back on track. Their recommendations include elevating Obama’s profile on strength, experience, honesty and national security to contesting Republicans on change and the economy and appealing to independent voters and targeting key groups among which Obama is underperforming (older women – especially seniors and unmarried, white union households and white non college men).

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