THE LATEST POLLS….Over at FiveThirtyEight — a site that’s endlessly fascinating and therefore a site to be generally avoided if you want to get any work done — Nate Silver says that he predicted the unity bounce following Hillary Clinton’s withdrawal from the race “would be worth 4-5 points to Obama in the popular vote, bringing him northward of 320 electoral votes.” And sure enough:
That is almost exactly where we have Barack Obama’s numbers after a series of new polls from Quinnipiac. In Pennsylvania, Obama leads by 12 points — up from 6 last month. His Ohio lead is 6 points — he had trailed McCain by 4 points before. And then there is Florida, where Quinnipiac has Obama ahead by 4 points. Barack Obama has never before led a Florida poll — not against John McCain, nor against Hillary Clinton — so this is something of a watershed moment.
Well, even I’m not optimistic enough to think that Obama is going to carry Florida. But who knows? Cuba has been steadily losing salience as a political hot button for years, and if all the Republicans start campaigning on the idea of letting Texaco build thousands of oil platforms right off Miami Beach, you never know. Maybe Obama will start to look pretty good to Floridians.