September 14, 2008


Independents swing toward McCain (JOHN P. AVLON, 9/14/08, Politico)

In the wake of Sarah Palin, John McCain has opened up a 15-point lead among independents, according to a new Gallup Poll — and Barack Obama has a real problem.

Since the GOP convention and his selection of the Alaska governor as his running mate, McCain has changed a months-long tie among independents into a 52 to 37 percent advantage. Support for McCain among self-described "conservative Democrats" has jumped 10 points, to 25 percent, signaling the shift among swing voters to McCain.

The candidate’s surge tracks the script the campaign had written for the party convention. Joe Lieberman’s sleepy but substantively centrist speech was the preamble to McCain reframing the Republican Party around national security, fiscal conservatism and corruption reform. The result: he elevation of the independent maverick.

Both McCain and Palin avoided almost any mention of the right-wing social issues that are a wedge between the GOP and most Independents’ political beliefs. Palin may prove to be a deeply polarizing figure to swing voters and suburban women, but for the time being she has shaken up Independents’ assumptions about the GOP—on the surface, it does not look like Dick Cheney’s party anymore.

McCain’s credibility with independents goes back more than a decade, and it’s far deeper than a veep pick. McCain was independents’ favorite political figure for most of this decade — he fought against Karl Rove in 2000 and Tom DeLay’s pork-barrel-spending, corrupt conservative Congress in the road up to ’06.

He has a heroic record of reaching across the aisle to forge bipartisan compromise against an ideological establishment that encouraged the opposite. For independents, this is profile-in-courage-type stuff.

The depth of his public image is why it's such a waste of time and resources for the Obamanoids to try and paint him as a tool of lobbyists, regardless of the merit of their charges. Given their eight years of saying the opposite it can't help but seem like petty politics. The only reason they can be doing it is because they so completely misapprehend Swiftboating.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2008 2:56 PM
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