The presidential race is tightening in New York State, where Senator Obama's lead has slipped by 10 points since June. HaHa!
According to a poll released yesterday, the Democrat leads Senator McCain by 47% to 39%, a healthy advantage that has nevertheless deteriorated significantly over the course of the summer. The poll, conducted by the Siena Research Institute, also indicated that Governor Paterson's "call to action" on the state's budget crisis is resonating with voters. Nearly half of them describe New York's fiscal condition as poor, yet the governor's approval ratings are increasing.
Mr. Obama is currently eight points ahead of Mr. McCain in New York, down from a 13-point lead in July and an 18-point lead in June. The chairman of Mr. McCain's New York campaign, Ed Cox, said that the Republican senator is making gains in the state largely because of his credibility on national security issues.
"For the presidency, this is going to be a national security election, and national security is a nonpartisan issue," Mr. Cox said. "New York becomes a purple state and not a blue state."
In the 2004 election, the Democrat, Senator Kerry, defeated President Bush in New York by a 19-point margin.
The McCain campaign has been criticized by some New Yorkers for setting up its regional headquarters in New Jersey, but Mr. Cox said the narrowing poll margin shows that "campaigns are about people, not about real estate."
While the Obama campaign has pledged to operate a New York headquarters, it has yet to open.
In a statement, the New York State director of the Obama campaign, Dave Pollak, said: "New Yorkers are looking for real change in Washington, D.C., not a third term of Bush's failed policies, which is what John McCain will provide. In the coming weeks, our campaign will open offices, hold volunteer trainings, and continue to take advantage of the growing and significant enthusiasm for the Senator's candidacy."