Frank Rich (New York Times the Op-Ed Columnist) gets into the subject of polling numbers and questions of popularity and in the process provides some salient historical facts.
No presidential candidate was breaking the 50 percent mark in mid-August polls in 2004 or 2000. Obama’s average lead of three to four points is marginally larger than both John Kerry’s and Al Gore’s leads then (each was winning by one point in Gallup surveys). Obama is also ahead of Ronald Reagan in mid-August 1980 (40 percent to Jimmy Carter’s 46). At Pollster.com, which aggregates polls and gauges the electoral count, Obama as of Friday stood at 284 electoral votes, McCain at 169. That means McCain could win all 85 electoral votes in current toss-up states and still lose the election.
With the Democratic Party Convention between the 25th. to the 28th. August, the Republican Party Convention between the 1st. to 4th. September, only then will the stage be set with just two months between the end of the Republican convention the 4th November (a.k.a. election day).