I'm surprised the Democrats aren't now questioning....
....the credibility of CBS News after the new poll numbers released by The New York Times and CBS News. The poll of 1,088 registered voters, which was conducted by phone Thursday through Sunday, shows Bush with a 9-point lead (50% to 41%) among likely voters, up from a 7-point lead last week.
Our man's not *that* far behind. No, it's a very close race. We keep hammering the President on Iraq and the economy and health care. Isn't anybody listening to us? WE'RE NOT THAT FAR BEHIND!!!
Actually, they're probably not (not that the hammering has helped them any). While one other poll (Gallop) shows a 14-point (54% to 40%) lead this week, one other poll (Pew) shows a statistical dead heat (47% to 46%) among likely voters. Where's the truth? Probably somewhere in the middle. Both campaigns seem to be saying that it's about a 5 or 6-point race right now (advantage: Bush). Although Bush's post-convention bounce does seem to have settled down, Kerry hasn't managed to score any points which might help to boost him, reduced to trying to shout out his message over the tempest that is Rathergate, plus the all-hurricane, all-the-time news in the Southeast US (see, there are more important things in life than the election).
But you do have to wonder, given that all three polls were conducted as the firestorm over "60 Minutes II" was flaring up, how much were the numbers influenced by that? I don't think there's a poll question that asks "So, how much did Dan Rather influence your decision to vote the way you are?" Let's see how everything plays out in the polls being conducted this weekend, now that it has been pretty conclusively determined this week that those memos were forgeries, that the possible forger is a virulent Bush-hater with a grudge going back to the mid- to late-1990s, and the retired officer (Staudt) referred to in one of the memos as exerting pressure to gloss over Bush's performance has come out and said it didn't happen (both that he was still hanging around the TANG a year and a half after he retired and that he asked anyone to "sugarcoat" anything).