There is much speculation as to why in the Newsweek June 20, 2008 poll Barack Obama held a 51 to 36 percent lead over John McCain and in a poll released today, Obama's lead is down to a 3 percentage point lead with 44 percent to 41 percent.
In a matter of almost 3 weeks, from June 20, 2008 to July 11, 2008, Barack Obama has gone from a 15 percentage point lead over John McCain to a 3 percentage point lead, which is within the margin of error.
Obama dropped 7 percentage points and McCain gained 5 percentage points.
One reason not mentioned in the Newsweek article discussing this, could be that in the June 20, 2008 poll, the demographic samples showed that 324 Democrats were polled with only 231 Republicans being polled, which would account for the wide span of the lead shown for Obama.
In this latest poll, the number of Democrats polled stayed the same at 324, but the number of Republicans polled rose to 315.
Even out the sampling and the numbers even out?
Instead of mentioning the oversampling of one party from the other to account for the lead three weeks ago, Newsweek suggested at the time that it could be due to the "bounce" from Clinton suspending her campaign.
Likewise, today's article, Newsweek speculates that Barack Obama's sudden drop could be due to his changing position on the FISA legislation, or his changing position regarding public financing where he rejected it or his support of faith-based initiatives, without mentioning the possibility that the sampling could have accounted for the changes.
The sampling figures can explain the span of the lead changing to fall within the margin of error, but it cannot explain the changes from Independent voters polled.
In the new poll, McCain leads Obama among independents 41 percent to 34 percent, with 25 percent favoring neither candidate. In June's NEWSWEEK Poll, Obama bested McCain among independent voters, 48 percent to 36 percent.
Both candidates show equal favorability with Obama holding a favorable rating of 56 percent and John McCain at 55 percent and both having a 32 percent unfavorable rating.
Newsweek titles their article with "Glow Fading?" and time will tell if it is or it is not, but for now it seems as if Obama's momentum has reversed, faster than he himself has managed to reverse positions on the key topics mentioned in the article discussing todays surprising results.