The assumption among most observers seems to be that Barack Obama will get a bounce in the polls from his trip to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East, and western Europe. But it's not apparent in the polls that have come in to date. Gallup tracking shows him with a 46 percent-to-42 percent lead, about what he's had since clinching the Democratic nomination June 3. Rasmussen tracking shows him ahead by just 47 percent to 45 percent and the day before had the race at a 46 percent-to-46 percent tie. The Detroit News poll shows Obama leading in Michigan by only 43 percent to 41 percent, and there is some good news for John McCain in the recent Rasmussen poll in Ohio showing McCain ahead 46 percent to 40 percent. This last is a contrast with another poll in Ohio, showing Obama ahead 48 percent to 40 percent, conducted by the North Carolina Democratic firm PPP, whose record this cycle seems to me to have been erratic.While Obama may have "needed" to go abroad to prop up some sembelence of foriegn policy credentials, his messianic type speech yesterday did really help. I don't seem as having done anything substantive and his speech, while somewhat inaccurate as lots of other bloggers have pointed out, really did nothing to elevate him in anyone's eyes as a serious thinker about the reality of the world. Sure, I like aspirations of peace, freedom and justice, but the world is seriously lacking of all three in many places, including places in Europe it should be noted. So what did the speech do, it gave Obama thousands of screaming, cheering fans (none of whom or very, very, very few of whom can vote for him) and the feeling of supriority.
But the effort really does not demonstrate any semeblence of a real foreign policy, not even an outline that would separate him from anyone else with general good intentions.
Barone also notes this interesting little tidbit:
Another interesting result from Rasmussen. He now shows that voters believe the United States is winning rather than losing the war on terrorism by a 51 percent-to-16 percent margin. A year ago, in July 2007, the numbers were 36 percent to 36 percent. That's a big change. It could mean that voters will want to continue something like the current approach, which would be good news for McCain. Or it could mean that voters will decide that we don't need to worry about terrorism much anymore, which would be good news for Obama. Stay tuned. I don't think the voters' decision-making process is complete yet.We are only one attack away from a massive change in that number. Of course, the media meme on the war on terror has greatly shifted as a result of changes in Iraq.