McCain rising; leads GOP in national poll

The horror/slasher movies series which began in the ’80s, Halloween and Friday the 13th, featured characters who just wouldn’t die. John McCain threatens to become the political version as his once-thought-dead campaign has steadily recovered since going on life support in the spring and summer. After weak fundraising toppled him from frontrunner status and forced major retooling of the campaign, McCain refused to go quietly and began fighting. Now he has returned to the top of the GOP list nationally, according to Rasmussen Reports:

For the first time all year, Arizona Senator John McCain finds himself on top with support from 17% of Likely Republican Primary Voters. In the muddled GOP race, McCain becomes the third person to top the poll this month and the fourth since October. But his lead is statistically insignificant–Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are just a point behind at 16% and Rudy Giuliani is two points back at 15%. Slightly off the pace, but still within five points of McCain, is Fred Thompson at 12%. Ron Paul retains his base support at 7%.

One of the more amazing things about the Republican race this year is that it has grown closer and closer over time (see recent daily numbers). In a poll with a four-percentage point margin of error, the fact that five candidates are within five points means there is absolutely no national frontrunner. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that 13% of Likely Primary Voters remain undecided.

Read the entire story at the above link. Rasmussen has tended to show Giuliani and McCain with lower support than other polls have, and Huckabee and Thompson with higher numbers than the others.

The numbers themselves are statistically insignificant: with the margin of error, any of the top five could be leading, or in last place. The race is wide open. The most significant aspect for McCain is that he is moving in the right direction, albeit slowly. Romney has also shown slight upward movement, while the rest of the “top tier” candidates are moving in the other direction lately.

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