He lost two from yesterday, and now Gallup and Rasmussen are telling us pretty much the same story…that Obama is slightly ahead of McCain, and the Arizona Senator simply can’t break through that 44% mark. Still, the independent vote definitely seems like it’s still in play.

Gallup takes a look at the road ahead…

Looking ahead, a “lull in the action” is widely expected between Aug. 8 and the beginning of the Democratic convention as voters’ attentions turn to the Beijing Olympics, commencing on Friday.

It is possible that Obama may attempt to gain the spotlight before then with a surprise announcement of his vice presidential choice, and he will almost certainly announce his choice before the Denver convention gets underway. (It is also possible, of course, that McCain may make a surprise announcement of his vice presidential choice at any time).

These vice presidential announcements may cause some change in voter support patterns, but the looming events that have the greatest potential to disrupt the stable pattern of the summer are the two back-to-back conventions in late August and early September.

More tomorrow…

Politics Gallup: Obama Leads By 2