A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Friday shows Barack Obama leading John McCain 49 percent to 46 percent among registered voters in a head-to-head match up – with the three point difference within the poll's margin of error.
But consider the results when two other candidates are added to the mix: When pollsters asked not just about Obama and McCain but also Libertarian party candidate Bob Barr and independent Ralph Nader, Obama led 47 percent to 43 percent, with Barr taking two percent and Nader taking six percent. Nader only took 1 percent of the vote in his last run for president in 2004.
Both Barr and Nader are potential spoilers for the major party candidates. Last week, as the Boston Globe reports, Nader, who is to the left of Barack Obama, sent out a fundraising appeal approvingly quoting novelist Russell Banks' comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee.
"Obama is feeding a dream -- a dream of change and renewal," Banks said. "He's feeding a dream that the conditions that surround us -- Iraq, the economy, the racial divide, the class divide in this country -- that they are magically going to go away by voting for this centrist Democrat."
"The Obama moment is a feel good moment," Banks added. "It makes us feel good. But the programs Obama is proposing -- up and down and all around -- are the same centrist Democratic positions. The same people are going to be running the show. All of the corporations are rapidly switching their contributions to the Democrats."
The fundraising appeal, after citing this comments, noted that "what wasn't mentioned was Nader/Gonzalez."
"So, let us say it loud and clear," continued the appeal. "Nader/Gonzalez. Shift the power from the few to the many. Free our government of corporate domination. Restore the sovereignty of an engaged people. Don't fall for the trick."