Obama’s Ground War Looking Good

It’s been known for some time that the Obama campaign’s strategy in the US Presidential Election is rather different from the McCain campaign’s. The former is fighting what we Lib Dems might find a rather familiar concept: the ground war. Meanwhile, the McCain campaign is fighting the air war, winning news cycles by feeding the national media new stories and “events” as often as they can. when national overall polls started, after the nomination of Sarah Palin, to show a McCain lead, some Democrats started to feel a little nervous about this strategy. Those with a stronger constitution urged them to hold firm: not only was the ground war a sound strategy, but Palin’s initial popularity would burn out fast, they predicted. Both factors are now beginning to play out, it seems, with Palin’s shielding from the media and inadequacy when she does appear becoming ever more obvious to journalists, and Obama’s target states strategy (in states which weren’t what you might call obvious blue states) now beginning to look like it will pay off. Particularly interesting is this report from Rasmussen, a polling organisation:

Barack Obama has a two-point advantage over John McCain in the traditionally Republican state of North Carolina.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Tar Heel State shows Obama attracting 49% of the vote while McCain earns 47%. A week ago, McCain held a three-point edge. This is the first time in eight Rasmussen Reports polls that Obama has held any kind of a lead in North Carolina, though the candidates were tied once as well.

This is pretty extraordinary. In 2004, North Carolina voted solidly for Bush, with a +12.4% margin. A quick look at this summary of state-by-state polling data tells an interesting story: not one 2004 Kerry state is currently leaning McCain-wards, but 5 2004 Bush states are now looking as if they could well go to Obama.

Labour’s 5 Point Lead… Over the Lib Dems

So there’s a new Guardian ICM poll out today. (I know, I know, one single poll does not a trend make… still). It makes some interesting reading for Lib Dems, not only because Labour support has dropped sharply, but because comparatively little of it has gone to the Tories. Look:

Worth noting also this from the Guardian’s story on it:

Voters are moving away from Labour to a range of opponents, including the Liberal Democrats, who are on 22% today, up three points on last month.

The party is now only six points behind Labour, the narrowest gap since the Liberal Democrats were founded. Support for other parties, 9%, remains strong.

Detailed analysis shows that former Labour voters are transferring their support in almost equal proportions to the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats, while some established Liberal Democrat voters are transferring to the Conservatives.

This is worth noting. I know picking up Labour votes is the easier proposition at the moment, but frankly, we need to be making some running against Cameron. It’s no good soaking up disaffected Labour support only to haemorrhage it right back to the Tories.