The worst thing about the new Zogby show that has Obama down five points to McCain (as opposed to his July lead of seven points) is that there is now virtually no gender gap in the race. In July, Obama was getting 53% of the support of women as opposed to 47% among men. But now he is winning only 43% of women and 41% of men, so while his male support is down by six points, his female backing is off by ten points.
Normally, a Democratic presidential candidate will boast a ten to fifteen point gender gap, so Obama’s performance in both polls is way below average.
Obama’s convention will doubtless erase this temporary deficit, but the Republican conclave will, doubtless erase this erasure. And we will be back to a close race in September after both are over. But it is very likely that Obama’s failure to win the votes of women will continue and will be very serious for his campaign.