gone_fishing.thumbnail.jpgI know that Blue Texan’s already discussed the new CBS News poll, but if you’re the kind of political junkie who reads progressive blogs even in the dog days of summer, you’re probably used to searching for meaning in the flimsiest movements of poll data. If so, you might find these results either frustrating or calming:

Barack Obama leads John McCain 45 percent to 39 percent in the latest CBS News poll. Despite Obama’s highly-publicized foreign trip and McCain’s recent high-profile advertisements, the findings are unchanged since a CBS News/New York Times poll released last month. The percentage of undecided voters – 13 percent – also remains steady.

How can this be, amid such seemingly high-profile developments and volatile rhetoric? A couple of paragraphs at the end of the report give us a clue:

CBS News re-interviewed voters who said they were uncommitted, including those who had a candidate but said their minds could change, when we first spoke with them in a CBS News/New York Times poll in mid-July. In the July poll, that was about 36 percent of all registered voters.

The most recent round of interviews suggest that these uncommitted voters remain largely up for grabs.

. . . This group seems to have become less interested in the campaign since last month. When asked in mid-July how much attention they’d been paying to the 2008 campaign generally, 45 percent said they’d paid a lot. When asked in this poll how much attention they’d been paying in the last few weeks, only 18 percent reported paying a lot of attention.

So if you’re feeling like maybe it’s a good time to take a break from obsessing over the presidential race, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.