Notwithstanding the hype about Barack Obama, here is where the presidential race stands: John McCain was within an average of 1.9% of his Democratic opponent in last week's daily Gallup tracking poll.
It shouldn't be this close. Sen. Obama should be way ahead. It's not that Sen. McCain has made up a lot of ground. Pollster.com shows that the Republican steadily declined from March through June as the Democratic contest dominated the news. Mr. McCain stabilized in July, and then ticked up slightly. But the most important political fact of July is that Mr. Obama has lost altitude. Gallup now projects that 23% of this year's electorate will be swing voters, more than twice the share in 2004.
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