A new poll released Thursday shows that Georgia may actually be in play for Barack Obama in November.

According to a new Insider Advantage Georgia poll, John McCain and Obama are statistically tied in the Peach State, with McCain leading 44% to 43% over Obama. The X-factor is the Libertarian candidate, former GOP Rep. Bob Barr, getting 6%. The poll’s results are a change from the same poll a month ago that showed McCain with a 10-point lead, 45% to 35% over Obama with Barr getting 8%. With Georgia and Virginia as statistical dead heats, and the candidates running neck and neck in North Carolina, this means that Obama can compete in usually reliable Republican southern strongholds.

Watch, all of the other political pundits will jump on this point, when some of us here at Political Derby drew this conclusion weeks ago. But hey, who’s gloating?

By the way, early polling shows that voters aren’t likely to hold Obama’s decision of opting out of public funding for his campaign against the Illinois Democrat. A new Rasmussen Reports poll reveals that most voters aren’t too wild about the idea of public financing of political campaigns anyway.