July 11, 2008


Glow Fading?: The latest NEWSWEEK Poll shows Barack Obama leading John McCain by only 3 points. What a difference a few weeks can make. (Jonathan Darma, 7/11/08, Newsweek)

A month after emerging victorious from the bruising Democratic nominating contest, some of Barack Obama's glow may be fading. In the latest NEWSWEEK Poll, the Illinois senator leads Republican nominee John McCain by just 3 percentage points, 44 percent to 41 percent. The statistical dead heat is a marked change from last month's NEWSWEEK Poll, where Obama led McCain by 15 points, 51 percent to 36 percent.

Obama's rapid drop comes at a strategically challenging moment for the Democratic candidate. Having vanquished Hillary Clinton in early June, Obama quickly went about repositioning himself for a general-election audience--an unpleasant task for any nominee emerging from the pander-heavy primary contests and particularly for a candidate who'd slogged through a vigorous primary challenge in most every contest from January until June. Obama's reversal on FISA legislation, his support of faith-based initiatives and his decision to opt out of the campaign public-financing system left him open to charges he was a flip-flopper. In the new poll, 53 percent of voters (and 50 percent of former Hillary Clinton supporters) believe that Obama has changed his position on key issues in order to gain political advantage.

is Bob Dole, who's turn came up in the only losable cycle of the last forty years. And, even then, had Perot followed through on the discussion about withdrawing and endorsing Mr. Dole, he'd have won.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 11, 2008 5:13 PM

Perot and Ted Turner are high octane crazy....


Posted by: Benny at July 11, 2008 5:39 PM

Had Dole had enough of a brain to pick Colin Powell as his VP (and pay Mark Helprin whatever he wanted to come on board the campaign full-time) he would have won in a walk.

Posted by: b at July 11, 2008 6:18 PM

Also, let's be honest here--now Newsweek is perfectly set up to game their numbers again next month (either before or after the Dem convention) to show Obama bursting out into another (false) huge lead.

Posted by: b at July 11, 2008 6:21 PM

Any generic democrat should be beating ANY republican by 20-35% right now, what with the economy, Iraq, Katrina, gas prices, etc. The fact that Senators Obama and McCain are virtually tied right in most polls means that Mr. McCain will walk away with this election come November like the moderate President Nixon wiping the floor with the ultra-left Senator McGovern in 1972. "Bitter clingers", Reagan Democrats, most Hillary supporters, veterans, seniors and blue/pink collar whites won't be voting for Obama, so who will?


Posted by: Alan Srout at July 11, 2008 8:08 PM

B, I remember Powell, not Dole, being the problem in that equation...

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 11, 2008 10:15 PM

...won't be voting for Obama, so who will? "

Aside from the usual suspects of the hard left, (the Acorns, feminists, gays, media and entertainment cohort), you have more moderate groups such as trial lawyers and public sector union members (teachers, local, state, fed employees).

Any body he has bought off or into like agribusiness with the recent sweet farm bill, ($125 per bushel of corn guaranteed by the US government). Wall streeter's looking for a bailout of the credit crisis and further cash from the Government.

The group of people on the left who think by voting for him they are really going to change things (analogous to the people on the right who voted for Perot).


Posted by: Perry at July 12, 2008 8:18 AM

But where's the Roe effect? The first Roe v. Wade-affected presidential race was 1992. We're batting .500 from 92-04 and we should be dominating. [The theory is that Roe led to the abortion of more liberal pro-abort voters than conservative anti-abort voters. We're 40+ million abortions down the road, and we're still having close elections with death-worshipping socialists?]

I understand Clinton's genius, his understanding of posing as Ike, etc. But how is Kerry explained? And the Goracle? 2000 and 2004 were too close.

I can only conclude that abortions are not having an impact on the proceeding generations' political skew, or there's backfill from immigrants who are breaking Dem enough to cover any Roe effect.

Posted by: Palmcroft at July 12, 2008 10:17 AM

Read John Fund's article.

Obama's Liberal Shock Troops

While OJ will likely be proven correct that McCain will win, the idea that it will be a cake walk is probably wrong.

The right is being strongly out-organized by the left. This is a function of investing in newer infrastructure and paying for organizing, not ads.

Illinois is the model. This is not a rabidly blue state, but the Dems/left have a lock on everything based upon organization.

Hence, over time, it is becoming more and more blue, as the right has become self-marginalizing and the Republican party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dems.

Obama is a creature of Daley's machine politics, and they probably always knew that their chances hinged upon GOTV of every person that they could muster.

In the end, it probably won't be enough to overcome America's center-right tilt in 2008, but the machinery built will elect the farm team that implements the policies that slowly but surely convert the US into an EU.

Posted by: Bruno at July 12, 2008 10:42 AM

No, we're batting 1.000 since '68. Carter and Clinton ran as anti-abortion (or at least not pro-abortion) Southern Christians.

Middle class whites have abortions, not welfare dependents.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2008 1:44 PM

Blacks abort at three times the rate of whites. While there are many middle class blacks, there are many more poor blacks. Since blacks vote 90%+ Democrat, the decline of the black population should be showing up at the polls. With less than 10% of the population and dropping fast, this is perhaps only a slight abortion edge.

However, of the middle class white abortions, one would think that there would be more lib abortions than conservative, no? This should produce political preference discrepencies between generations solely due to abortions.

Posted by: Palmcroft at July 12, 2008 2:16 PM

All candidates are anti-abortion, only a few have pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices, who could have an effect. (certainly not Carter or Clinton) Granted Carter ran against Ford who wanted Roe v Wade to be upheld.

Black and Hispanic women have higher rates of abortion than non-Hispanic whites. Actually welfare dependents have the highest rates of abortion.

Posted by: h-man at July 12, 2008 2:25 PM


Posted by: oj at July 12, 2008 6:16 PM

The numbers you're looking for come in congressional apportionment, not votes. Pro-abortion states are losing reps, anti gaining them.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2008 6:18 PM

What is everybody doing discussing the "Roe Effect?"

It has a tiny electoral impact, if any.

White soccer Moms have converted to the left/center left in droves, which far outweigh any "Roe effect."

They are working on their "Mass Man" husbands, who are slowly converting to center-left as well.

In the meantime, America's rich suburbs are being overrun with paid organizers funded by Gill, Soros, Sperling and Bing.

The speed at which the right could re-coup might be one thing, but they are not investing in the infrastructure.

Posted by: Bruno at July 13, 2008 12:00 PM

Does anyone read Newsweek outside of being in the dentist's waiting room? I know I opt for National Geographic (or Highlights, if the kids don't already have it).

Posted by: Mikey at July 14, 2008 12:33 AM
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