Conservatives are excited tonight about a new AP poll showing that Obama and McCain are now in a statistical dead heat: Obama 44% - McCain 43%.
But it gets even more interesting. Looking at the data behind the data, the same poll shows that 71% of likely voters believe McCain has "the right type of experience" to be president (20% do not), whereas only 46% believe Obama has "the right type of experience" (44% do not). In another words, the country overwhelmingly believes McCain is qualified to be president, but is evenly split as to whether Obama is qualified. That seems like awfully good news for McCain. After all, it is hard to imagine that many of the 44% of Americans who believe Obama is unqualified will actually vote for him. So that leaves merely 56% of Americans who could even potentially vote for Obama. That doesn't leave Obama much room for error.
Another extremely interesting finding: although the candidates are in a virtual dead heat, likely voters overwhelmingly believe (67%-25%) that Obama will be elected. So even though voters are evenly divided as to which candidate they prefer, the perception is that Obama is way ahead. Interesting, huh? Reminds me of a fascinating Zombietime essay I just read.