Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain Seen as Less Likely to Bring Change, Poll Finds

Despite all of McCain's attempts to portray himself as an agent of change, it appears as if the American people are simply not buying it.

Despite an intense effort to distance himself from the way his party has done business in Washington, Senator John McCain is seen by voters as far less likely to bring change to Washington than Senator Barack Obama. He is widely viewed as a “typical Republican” who would continue or expand President Bush’s policies, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Polls taken after the Republican convention suggested that Mr. McCain had enjoyed a surge of support — particularly among white women after his selection of Gov.
Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate — but the latest poll indicates “the Palin effect” was, at least so far, a limited burst of interest. The contest appeared to be roughly where it was before the two conventions and before the vice-presidential selections: Mr. Obama had the support of 48 percent of registered voters, compared with 43 percent for Mr. McCain, a difference within the poll’s margin of sampling error, and statistically unchanged from the tally in the last New York Times/CBS News poll, in mid-August.
Polls taken shortly after the Republican Convention worried me, as I couldn't work out which part of McCain's completely dreadful acceptance speech had won him support. I suppose it's obvious that the public were simply reacting to the presence of Palin on the ticket and the more that they get to know who she is and what she stands for, the more likely it is that polling will return to where it was before.

The hope for McCain was that Palin would help him attract Clinton's supporters and allow him to present a McCain/Palin ticket which represented "Mavericks for change", but, if that was the hope, then it's not working out that way.

But the Times/CBS News poll suggested that Ms. Palin’s selection has, to date, helped Mr. McCain only among Republican base voters; there was no evidence of significantly increased support for him among women in general. White women were evenly divided between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama; before the conventions, Mr. McCain led Mr. Obama among white women, 44 percent to 37 percent.

I always thought that McCain's only real weapon against Barack Obama was the "experience" argument. I thought he would nominate Joe Lieberman as his VP and play out the rest of the campaign arguing that they were two men who - by the very fact that they were running together - could reach across party lines in the spirit of bipartisanship and still have the experience which they perceived Obama as lacking.

The Republican base wouldn't allow McCain do to this and so, he has jettisoned his "experience" argument with the selection of Palin, and now attempts to fight Obama on Obama's strongest suit: Change.

The polls show that this was not a wise move by the McCain camp as few people are buying into the notion that a 72 year old man, who has been in Washington for 26 years, is the person needed to implement change.

It was a silly idea on it's face and it's no surprise that most people reject it.

Click title for full article.

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