July 25, 2008


Obama's path to presidency is far from clear: The Democrat is winning fans on his trip abroad, but is struggling to gain real ground against McCain at home. Some key Clinton backers remain alienated (Peter Nicholas, 7/25/08, Los Angeles Times)

Fresh polls show that he has been unable to convert weeks of extensive media coverage into a widened lead. And some prominent Democrats whose support could boost his campaign are still not enthusiastic about his candidacy.

Several new surveys show that Obama is in a tight race or even losing ground to Republican John McCain, both nationally and in two important swing states, Colorado and Minnesota. One new poll offered a possible explanation for his troubles: A minority of voters see Obama as a familiar figure with whom they can identify.

Republicans are moving to exploit this vulnerability, trying to encourage unease among voters by building the impression that Obama's overseas trip and other actions show he has a sense of entitlement that suggests he believes the White House is already his. [...]

Many voters still seem to be puzzling over who Obama is, even after a race that has lasted a year and a half. By 58% to 47%, voters identity more with the values and background of McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, than with Obama, according to a newly released Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

Obama may also be slipping in some key states. He lost a narrow lead in Colorado, falling 5 percentage points in the past month, and now trails McCain 46% to 44%, a new Quinnipiac University poll found. In Minnesota, Obama fell 8 percentage points, though he still leads McCain 46% to 44%, the survey found. The polling spanned the five days before Obama went abroad and the first four days of his trip.

At a time when nearly three-quarters of Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track, the political climate would suggest that McCain, whose party controls the White House, might lag by large margins. Yet a national Fox News poll released Thursday showed that Obama's 4-point lead over McCain in June had shrunk to a single point. The new Journal/NBC poll showed Obama leading by 6 points, unchanged from the month before.

The McCain camp ought not be whining about how presumptuous Senator Obama is being but playing up that he's campaigning where he's most comfortable. The divergence of the Democrat's absolutely typical northern liberal nominee from the values of the American people is--as it always is--the GOP's best issue. That their opponent is playing into the stereotype is a gift.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 25, 2008 6:17 AM

Regarding that Fox News poll, one point to remember is that Obama's lead went from 4 points to 1 point (it is actually 0.5% if you use the internals to calculate - Obama got 368 votes to McCain's 364, in a sample that had 378 Dems to 300 Reps), even as the Dem skew went from 7 points to 9 points in the sample.

June poll: Dem skew 7, Obama lead 4
July poll: Dem skew 9, Obama lead 1 (0.5%)

The MSM is ignoring the elephant in the room, because it does not fit their narrative. In most battleground states, Obama is losing 20-30% of the Dems, whereas McCain is getting 85-95% of the Reps. A 15% gap in party support translates into about 8-10% gap in national vote. Independents have to break 2-to-1 to make that up.

Most polls are propping up Obama's lead by oversampling Dems. The last ABC/WaPo poll pulled the mask back a bit, when they reported that their voter model went from 10 points (37-27) registered to 1 point (33-32) likely. And that was including a heavy Sunday night skew for Obama.

Posted by: sam at July 25, 2008 7:20 AM


Posted by: dan anderson at July 25, 2008 8:10 AM

OJ, Your quip is a stroke of genius, and one hopes the bloggers here will call the campaign and tell McCain to simply wait for the right opportunity to say something like...

"The Senator's Campaign for President of Europe seems to be going well for him."

Or something like that.

Posted by: Bruno at July 25, 2008 8:28 AM

No, attacking the presumptuous thing is good politics. It's basically analogous to the no-sense-of-humor angle. You CANNOT take yourself too seriously in American politics. A first-term senator acting like the President is a huge turnoff. Make people distrust him for this, THEN go relentlessly after his record when you've undermined any personal goodwill they might have for him.

Posted by: b at July 25, 2008 11:38 AM

Obama is a juggernaut, just ask.......er Alan Keyes.

Posted by: h-man at July 25, 2008 11:39 AM
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