I have seen some frustrated grumbling online about the negative bounce that Obama appears to be having from his overseas trip, despite the fantastic coverage and reception he has received. Pollster.com confirms this negative bounce, indicating that Obama's national lead has dropped to 2.4% from a consistent advantage of 4.4%-4.9% from mid-June through mid-July:
Rick Davis, the titular head of the McCain campaign, said on a conference call with reporters that the campaign and the RNC combined have just less than $95 million cash on hand at the end of June, and that they have been outspending Obama in advertising by almost a 3-to-1 margin since April.
"I think Obama probably made a strategic mistake by not matching our buy in June," Davis said.
The 6-8%of the electorate that can justifiably be termed "swing voters" tend not to be very high information voters. As such, it seems more likely that they would be swayed by television commercials than by television news. This is not because these voters are rubes who are easily suckered by campaign ads, but rather that they probably don't watch the news very much, and they certainly don't watch the news much during July.
Right now, McCain's advantage in paid advertising is more useful than Obama's advantage in free media. The good news is that while McCain currently has an advantage in paid media, Obama has wiped out McCain's cash advantage and will soon be able to take the paid media lead himself. When that happens, I expect the above trendline to reverse, or at least flatten out.