Obama Pulling Close To Hillary

According to a Harris poll printed up in the Wall Street Journal, Obama has pulled to within four points of the Hillary campaign, taking nine points off the lead Hillary had on him according the the poll in May.

Now I’m usually not one to get excited over single polls, but you know, Obama’s my guy, and I therefore appreciate any good news my guy can get. Still, it is highly likely that this is just noise based on the rather steep change in numbers, and the fact that other recent polls show Hillary widening the gap.

One thing that does strike me was the sample size. The overall polling sample was over three thousand, a huge difference from what we typically see of across the board polls which is closer to a thousand. Likewise, the primary caucus portion of the poll was in the 1100 neighborhood, twice the usual 400-600 sample used for such things.

It’s still hard for me to conclude that this is anything but an aberration. Unfortunately, my resource that aggregates all the polls to provide an overarching trend is not available, so it’s even more difficult for me to put in context. But last I checked, we were still looking at the same trends with Hillary very slowly losing support, and Obama very slowly gaining support.

Since its Friday and I’m feeling froggy, I think I’m going to go ahead and make a blind blanket prediction, and hey, maybe I’ll feel particularly saucy and do this every Friday, but as I see things right now, my ultimate prediction is simply this. Hillary takes the Democratic Nomination, and Fred Thompson takes the Republican nomination. Going into the general election, I see Hillary winning by less than five points in the popular vote.

Pretty simple logic really. While Obama has a shot at overtaking Hillary, it’s an uphill battle and one that may require factors that are beyond his control (we’re talking serious poll shaking events and stuff like that. Finding out that Hillary snorts cocaine, or that Obama can actually walk on water kinda stuff). As a result, all Hillary has to do is hold onto enough support to ride out the trends and squeak by early next year.

On the other side, Fred’s biggest strength is Republican dissatisfaction with the current field of candidates. This dissatisfaction isn’t going to change, and therefore the strength won’t either. He has some hurdles to overcome, but assuming that he weathers them adequately and is able to flank Giuliani on Homeland Security, Fred Thompson should have a tough but successful primary season.

In the general election, it’s really tough for me to say that a Republican will win the White House, but that’s not to say that it won’t be a tough campaign. So long as Thompson distances himself from Bush appropriately and the right wing spin machine kicks into overdrive, there will be enough support to get him close, but Hillary’s going to take him on the big issues of the day; Iraq, Immigration, Health Care, and Going Green and all the subissues that that entails.

Take this all for a grain of salt as it’s still early, but keep your eyeballs here as I’ll be doing this pretty frequently from here on in.

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