Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama Up by 10 Points as McCain Favorability Ratings Fall.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll Barack Obama now leads McCain by ten points but, more importantly, all indications are that McCain's negative campaigning is starting to hurt him at the polls.

Overall, Obama is leading 53 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, and for the first time in the general-election campaign, voters gave the Democrat a clear edge on tax policy and providing strong leadership.

McCain has made little headway in his attempts to convince voters that Obama is too "risky" or too "liberal." Rather, recent strategic shifts may have hurt the Republican nominee, who now has higher negative ratings than his rival and is seen as mostly attacking his opponent rather than addressing the issues that voters care about. Even McCain's supporters are now less enthusiastic about his candidacy, returning to levels not seen since before the Republican National Convention.

This is why McCain is now so keen to be seen publicly stating that Obama is a "decent man" and why his crowds react with such horror at the concept.

This should come as no surprise, after all Palin has been telling them for weeks now that Obama is practically a terrorist, so it's a bit late in the day to expect them to buy into the theory that he is "a decent man."

In this clip Ana Marie Cox, who travels on the McCain plane and attends the McCain rallies, states that "the wingnuts are the only people left who come to these rallies. In fact some colleagues of mine and I went out into the crowd after this rally today."


"Today every single person that I talked to, and the majority of people that my friends and colleagues in the press talked to, were of the belief that Barack Obama is a Muslim, Barack Obama is not American. It was kind of crazy and now McCain has lost the pitchfork wavers. I don't know who he has left now".

This has always been McCain's problem. Republicans have never trusted him and, in order to win them over, he has had to reinvent himself in a way which was guaranteed to alienate independent voters.

One must always remember when looking at the reaction of the crowds to Palin that she is speaking to what Ana Marie Cox refers to as the "pitchfork wavers". Indeed, what she is saying is so preposterous that no sane person could ever take her remotely seriously.

And the polls are beginning to reflect that:
Nearly two-thirds of voters, 64 percent, now view Obama favorably, up six percentage points from early September. About a third of voters have a better opinion of the senator from Illinois because of his debate performances, while 8 percent have a lower opinion of him. By contrast, more than a quarter said they think worse of McCain as a result of the debates, more than double the proportion saying their opinion had improved. McCain's overall rating has also dipped seven points, to 52 percent, over the past month.
Where does McCain go now? If he continues to insist that Obama is a "decent" guy, the pitchfork wavers will desert him. And yet, if he continues on his present path he will further alienate independent voters who are already turned off by his never ending negativity.
More than half of voters, 51 percent, said that McCain, if elected, would largely continue to lead the country in the direction Bush has, and those voters overwhelmingly prefer Obama.
It's not only McCain's negativity that voters find distasteful, it's everything about his campaign. He essentially offers four more years of Bush policies and he has chosen a vice presidential candidate who is clearly unfit to step in as president should McCain become incapacitated.

His entire campaign has been an awful bloody mess, made worse by the fact that he chose to fight it in the gutter, by lying more than any presidential candidate in living memory.

He deserves to be exactly where he now finds himself. His campaign has been an utter disgrace, and he has shredded his own reputation whilst attempting to do as much to Obama's.

After his battle for the Republican presidential nomination with George Bush, McCain apologised for his comments regarding the Confederate flag. It was generally well received and became part of the myth of McCain "the straight talker".

However, this campaign has left such a stain on his reputation that no future apology will make up for it.

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