With a smaller piece of a bigger pie, Barack Obama holds a 6-point lead over John McCain even though he enjoys less support in his own party than John Kerry did in 2004. A “sharp shift in partisan loyalties” is coming into focus and "could prove the defining fact in November," E. J. Dionne Jr. writes in the Washington Post.
Four years ago, "Democrats and Republicans accounted for equal shares of the electorate," Dionne writes. Today, Democrats enjoy a 9-point edge. "The good news for McCain is that this year he has consistently run ahead of his party," Dionne explains. "The bad news is that the GOP is in such a deep hole McCain may not be able to climb out."