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McCain vs. Obama: Fact-checking time

The latest USA Today/Gallup poll: "Obama was ahead 47%-44% among registered voters, down from a 6-percentage point lead he had last month. McCain led 49%-45% among likely voters, reversing a 5-point Obama lead among that group. In both cases, the margin of error is +/- 4 points."

"'Registered voters are much more important at the moment,' Gallup chief Frank Newport said. He said McCain's lead among likely voters suggests 'the possibility's there that Republicans can get energized.'"

VIDEO: NBC Political Director Chuck Todd and NBC Political Analyst Mike Murphy join the "Morning Joe" team to discuss the changing polls and how difficult they have been during this election.

In its fact-check of the Landstuhl controversy, the New York Times says the McCain assertion that Obama cancelled his visit because the traveling press corps wouldn't be allowed into Landstuhl "is not correct, Mr. Obama's advisers say. Before his visit to Ramstein Air Base, which is near the medical center, was canceled, the plan called for reporters to stay behind at an airport terminal while Mr. Obama and one adviser met with the troops. Why? The Pentagon does not allow reporters and photographers inside Landstuhl. For weeks, Mr. Obama had been planning to visit wounded troops in Germany, just as he did in Afghanistan last week and previously had done at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Yet the Landstuhl visit carried more risk because it was to come in the middle of an overseas campaign trip." 

FactCheck.org adds, "A new McCain ad says Obama 'made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras.' McCain's facts are literally true, but his insinuation -- that the visit was canceled because of the press ban or the desire for gym time -- is false. In fact, Obama visited wounded troops earlier -- without cameras or press -- both in the U.S. and Iraq. And his gym workouts are a daily routine."

And here's more criticism of McCain's energy ad from a USA Today editorial: "Even by the elastic standards of political ads, this is more than a stretch. It's baloney. It's also a marker on the path toward the kind of simplistic, counterproductive demonizing that many expect will poison the fall campaign. Perhaps the silliest implication in the ad is that any one person, even a U.S. senator, is singlehandedly responsible for rising gasoline prices. ... The ad is right, at least in our view, in saying more drilling would help. But any implication that drilling alone would solve the energy problem is simply fiction that distracts attention from actually fixing the problem." More: "The pity of misleading ads like this is that McCain and Obama have both shown signs that they can embrace good ideas and elevate the debate. If 'Pump' represents the standard of truth in advertising for this presidential campaign, it's going to be a long and distressingly fact-free three months until Election Day."

Reuters: "Obama and McCain turn focus back to economy."