The Race Enters a New Phase - Obama is Clearly Now in the Lead

The 3 major tracks we follow - Kos, Gallup and Rasmussen - all have Obama at 50 today.  Gallup shows the most dramatic movement, with a change from 49/44 yesterday to 50/42 today.  The Real Clear Politics poll aggregate now has the race 48/43, with Obama ahead and gaining ground in the Electoral College.  McCain led in this aggregate for a week after the GOP Convention.  So the race has shifted a great deal in the last few weeks. 

Given McCain's true limitations as a candidate I still have a hard time seeing how McCain turns this thing around in the next few weeks.  Obama just came through a series of serious tests - the Palin surge, an extraordinary crisis and his first debate - looking self-assured, confident, in command,  You can see his campaign gaining greater confidence each day.  This is now a campaign that has been big time tested and has come through it with momentum, gaining ground.  Through his strong performance over the last few weeks Obama is showing those with doubts about his experience that he can handle hard and tough moments, a major hurdle for him to grow his vote in these final weeks.  

The McCain campaign has a very different dynamic now, having squandered a lead, made some significant stumbles, and with the very real limitations of their two candidates much more on display in recent weeks.  

We have a long way to go in this race but time and opportunity is running out for the McCain campaign.