What’s up with John McCain closing in on Barack Obama in the recent Public Policy Institute of California poll? Most pundits have written off this state for McCain saying Obama will not have to campaign here or spend money here. It was in the bag.

But when a 24-point Obama lead in some early polls falls to only a 9-point lead in the most recent PPIC poll, it has to give both sides pause.

The PPIC poll was conducted before Senator Joe Biden was added to the Democratic ticket and before Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention.

Mark Baldassare, the PPIC president and director of the poll says his survey found Independent voters moving toward McCain. “Independents are still finding out about the candidates. They weren’t that involved in the primary elections for the most part and are just getting to know the candidates,” Baldassare said.

Does this mean California will be in play for the Republicans this presidential election? The only thing we know right now is that this state is more in play today than it was a couple of months ago.