A short note on the race, the polls, and what the Bush camp is calling bin Laden's "little gift."
The next few days phone polling probably amounts to one of the biggest industries in the United States.
So it's interesting to look at the results of last night's post-gift polling.
First, the four tracking polls released today and thus including roughly one-third of calls after the release of the OBL tape ...
In Zogby's, Kerry moved up one point.
In Rasmussen's, Kerry moved up one point.
In WaPo/ABC, Kerry moved up two points.
In Tipp, Bush moved up two points.
Two other national polls were released (at least that I've seen), Newsweek and Fox.
One third of the Newsweek poll was done last night. And in their poll Bush was up over Kerry by 50% to 44%. That's four points better than the Newsweek poll the previous week that had Bush over Kerry 48% to 46%.
Look, though, at the Fox poll.
Fox did one poll Wednesday and Thursday night. And then they did another poll with calls Thursday and Friday night. So the common denominator is that both polls had calls Thursday night. And half the calls in the second poll were done post-gift.
The first Fox poll had Bush up 5% (50% to 45%) and the second had him up 2% (47% to 45%).
Now, does this mean the bin Laden tape is giving a boost to Kerry? Of course, not. These are tiny changes. And it's altogether possible that this small shift is simply the result of statistical 'noise' -- numbers wobbling around within the polls' margins of error.
But it should put at least some damper on the notion that the release of the OBL tape would lead to some sudden Bush surge.
At least if the pundits are listening.