So far this month, there have been four national polls of McCain vs. Obama head to head. Two were registered voters, two were likely voters. All had sample sizes from 1041 to 1600.
The results? McCain 45, Obama 44. McCain 45, Obama 46. McCain 46, Obama 44. McCain 46, Obama 46.
Against Hillary, it’s a very similar story. McCain 45, Hillary 46. McCain 46, Hillary 48. McCain 46, Hillary 45. McCain 46, Hillary 48.
If I’m on Team McCain, I’ll take these numbers, knowing that the next couple weeks and perhaps months will hold nothing but both Democrats hammering each other, and that my general election campaigning can reinforce all of the negative messages aired in the Democratic primaries.
Also note that despite conventional wisdom that Obama is the stronger general-election candidate, Hillary is (very marginally) a stronger candidate according to these numbers. Of course, this doesn’t get into who carries which states in the Electoral College, etc.
UPDATE: Obama’s web site today is prominently featuring the older polls, with a link on his home page saying “Obama Will Beat McCain.” That link takes you to a poll roundup completed on Feb. 19.