Poll Watch: Zogby Gives McCain 5-Point Lead; Sky Not Yet Fallen

Zogby has McCain taking the lead in its nation-wide head-to-head — a 5 point lead, outside the margin-of-error — and I’m looking forward to much hand-wringing among Dems.

Here’s highlights from Zogby’s release:

As Russian tanks rolled into the Republic of Georgia and the presidential candidates met over the weekend in the first joint issues forum of the fall campaign, the latest polling includes drama almost as compelling - Republican John McCain has taken a five-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama in the race for President, the latest Reuters/Zogby telephone survey shows.
McCain leads Obama by a 46% to 41% margin.
And McCain not only enjoys a five-point edge in a two-way race against Obama, but also in a four-way contest including liberal independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr, the poll reveals. In the four-way contest, McCain wins 44% support, Obama 39%, Barr 3% and Nader 2%.
This latest Reuters/Zogby poll is a dramatic reversal from the identical survey taken last month – in the July 9-13 Reuters/Zogby survey, Obama led McCain, 47% to 40%. In the four-way race last month, Obama held a 10-point lead over McCain.
Got that — almost as dramatic as Russian tanks rolling in!

But wait. Zogby’s poll is an outlier — LA Times/Bloomberg, Gallup and Rasmussen all have the race within two points, and all have Obama up. The only other recent poll with a five-point spread has Obama up. Real Clear Politics' rolling average has Obama up by 1.3.

During the primaries, Zogby was also rated the least reliable firm by other polling professionals in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and the firm’s gotten quite a bit of criticism during this cycle.

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