Some great news from the States via the latest Zogby poll.
UTICA, New York – As the race for President passes the Independence Day holiday and heads toward the dog days of summer, Sen. Barack Obama holds a 44% to 38% lead over Sen. John McCain in the horserace contest, but also leads by a substantial margin in a state-by-state Electoral College tally, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.
The extensive national poll of of 46,274 likely voters also shows Libertarian candidate and former Congressman Bob Barr wins 6% support, eating into McCain’s needed conservative base of support.
The online survey was conducted from June 11-30, 2008. It carries a margin of error of 0.5 percentage points. After nearly a decade in development, the Zogby Interactive survey on a state level was remarkably accurate in the 2006 midterm elections. In 18 U.S. Senate elections polled two years ago, the Zogby online survey correctly identified the winner of 17 of 18 races. ….
Pollster John Zogby: “Obama is in the driver’s seat right now, especially where it really counts – in the electoral votes. Bob Barr could really hurt McCain’s chances. McCain can’t afford the level of slippage to Barr we found among conservatives in this polling. While there has been plenty of talk about Obama’s recent emphasis on his centrist positions, he can get away with it during these dog days of the campaign as McCain finds himself still trying to shore up the conservative base. McCain will have to move to the center because right now Obama is clobbering him among independents. But there is the rub for McCain: Bob Barr has some juice among conservatives and is hurting him in several states. ”
Bob Barr receives the support of 7% of voters who identify themselves as conservative or very conservative voters. Barr gets 43% of libertarians and 11% of independents. McCain’s support among conservatives is 74%. On the left, Ralph Nader gets less than 2% nationally.
This indicates the possibility of up to 5-6 million votes, and there is time to improve on that as both Barr and Root are being taken seriously by a fair proportion of the media, a far cry from the norm.
The disappointing part of it is “Barr gets 43% of libertarians” which means the libertarian purity factor is worse than I predicted, although quite a few serious and dedicated Libertarians have swallowed their disappointment and are backing Barr/Root.
Regardless of the conservative origins of both members of the team, they appear to be bringing huge numbers of voters to pull the lever for Libertarian for the first time, after seriously considering LP policies for the first time. This has to be a positive.