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USA Today/Gallup: McCain +4 (or +10)

McCain got a significant bump from the Republican National Convention, now leading Barack Obam four points among registered voters and ten points among likely voters.

Registered Voters

Barack Obama: 46% (-4)
John McCain: 50% (+7)

Likely Voters

Barack Obama: 44%
John McCain: 54%

• Before the convention, Republicans by 47%-39% were less enthusiastic than usual about voting. Now, they are more enthusiastic by 60%-24%, a sweeping change that narrows a key Democratic advantage. Democrats report being more enthusiastic by 67%-19%.

• Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a national unknown before McCain chose her for the ticket 10 days ago, draws a strong reaction from voters on both sides. Now, 29% say she makes them more likely to vote for McCain, 21% less likely.

Obama’s choice of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as running mate made 14% more likely to vote for the Democrat, 7% less likely.

• McCain’s acceptance speech Thursday received lower ratings than the one Obama gave a week earlier: 15% called McCain’s speech “excellent” compared with 35% for Obama.

McCain still has one giant hurdle to jump, however. 63% of voters say they are concerned McCain will pursue policies same as President Bush. Bush’s approval rating is 33%.

While McCain is benefiting from a Convention bounce, it is worthy to mention in a year where Democrats have everything going for them, the Presidential candidate still significantly underperforms the generic Democrat. The generic Democrat beats the generic Republican by 10 to 15 points. Plus, despite the worries from a majority of voters that McCain will be just like Bush, Obama is still struggling. Then again, this is not Europe. Americans vote for the person, not the Party.

It will be interesting to see how long this bump last. It is called a bump for a reason–it is just that, a parabolic bump. If McCain still leads by next week, I say there will be reason for Obama supporters to worry.

McCain now leads the RCP Average for the first time since April.

MSNBC Drops Olbermann and Matthews As Election Anchor

MSNBC has replaced Kieth Olbermann and Chris Matthews as election anchor for the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates as well as election night coverage.

The move follows criticisms that MSNBC has morphed into a left partisan news channel accompanied with on air brawls between the election coverage participants.

Executives at the channel’s parent company, NBC Universal, had high hopes for MSNBC’s coverage of the political conventions. Instead, the coverage frequently descended into on-air squabbles between the anchors, embarrassing some workers at NBC’s news division, and quite possibly alienating viewers. Although MSNBC nearly doubled its total audience compared with the 2004 conventions, its competitive position did not improve, as it remained in last place among the broadcast and cable news networks. In prime time, the channel averaged 2.2 million viewers during the Democratic convention and 1.7 million viewers during the Republican convention.

I personally like the move. I’m not a particular fan of Olbermann or Matthews. Their partisan biases often get in the way of objective news reporting, which severely degrades the quality and integrity of the news channel. MSNBC recently signed Rachel Maddow to host her own show, another sign of MSNBC’s left-leaning tilt. Having said that, I have hopes for Maddow, but watching her on “Race for the White House,” I cannot help but think she is the female incarnation of Olbermann.

David Gregory currently hosts “Race for the White House” which airs at 6 PM on MSNBC. My personal take–it is the best show on MSNBC.

Gibson to Interview Palin

Sarah Palin will sit down with ABC’s Charles Gibson later this week for her first interview after she was named as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate.

On Sunday, Joe Biden challenged Palin to sit down for an interview.

“”She’s a smart, tough politician,” Biden told Tom Brokaw in a “Meet the Press” interview live from Wilmington, Del. “So I think she’s going to be formidable. Eventually, she’s going to have to sit in front of you like I’m doing and have done. Eventually, she’s going to have to answer questions and not be sequestered. Eventually, she’s going to have to answer on the record.”

The McCain camp has been under pressure from the media to allow Palin to sit for an interview. Later this week she will return to Alaska for the interview before campaigning on her own.

Daily Rasmussen – September 7, 2008

McCain is making inroads in the Rasmussen tracking poll, now even with Barack Obama. At the peak of Obama’s convention bounce, he was six points ahead of McCain.

Without Leaners

Barack Obama: 46%
John McCain: 46% (+1)

With Leaners

Barack Obama: 48% (-1)
John McCain: 48% (+2)

Favorable/Unfavorable (NET)

Barack Obama: 56%/43% (+13)
John McCain: 58%/40% (+18)

At the peak of Obama’s convention bounce, he had a net favorable rating of 19 points.

Forty-two percent (42%) of voters say that economic issues are most important this year and Obama holds a 34-point advantage among these voters.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of voters say the national security issues are most important. Among these voters its McCain by 39.

The Republican hopeful also leads by wide margins among those who consider fiscal issues or cultural issues most important. Obama leads among those primarily interested in domestic programs such as Social Security and health care.

The enthusiasm gap is also closing. Before the Republican convention, 54% of Republican were voting for McCain because they were enthusiastic, now that number is 65%. Still, Obama holds the advantage in enthusiasm. 77% of voters are voting for Obama because they are enthusiastic.

The poll includes all three post-Palin speech days and two post-McCain speech days. Monday will be the first poll taken entirely after the Republican convention.