Maybe America is only 37 percent stupid
September 18, 2008 5 Comments
John McCain calls that 37 percent his base.
A new NY Times/CBS poll says that by a margin of 65-37 percent, Americans believe Barack Obama is more likely to bring change to Washington than John McCain.
Still a stupidly high number given the facts and all (and up from 28 percent before the conventions), but not as high, I am sure, as the Republicans had hoped.
But two weeks after the Republican convention, with public sentiment starting to settle into place, there are indications that Ms. Palin might not be accomplishing what Mr. McCain had hoped in choosing her.
A New York Times/CBS News poll this week found that Ms. Palin had accomplished one crucial goal for Mr. McCain: She helped raise the enthusiasm level markedly among Republicans: 47 percent of his Republican supporters said they were enthusiastic about the ticket, twice as much as before.
But so far, the poll suggests, the boost has not gone far beyond that. The poll found that even now, voters are much more likely to identify Mr. Obama — and not Mr. McCain — as someone who would bring change to Washington. He is widely viewed as someone who would continue or expand President Bush’s policies in office.
But to me at least, there is a bit of a surprise in the numbers:
Polls taken immediately after the convention had found evidence of a sharp increase in support for Mr. McCain among white women, but this poll suggests that that effect was, so far at least, limited. 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.
Welcome back, Sisters of the Traveling Pantsuits. Finally realize that the only thing Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have in common is that they both pee sitting down? And that maybe sacrificing everything for the possibility of a double X chromosome in the White House could mean losing everything you’ve been fighting for?
But hey, what about that Gateway Meme?
This poll found evidence of concern about Ms. Palin’s qualifications to be president, particularly compared with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, Mr. Obama’s running mate. More than 6 in 10 said they would be concerned if Mr. McCain could not finish his term and Ms. Palin had to take over. In contrast, two-thirds of voters surveyed said Mr. Biden would be qualified to take over for Mr. Obama, a figure that cut across party lines.
And 75 percent said they thought Mr. McCain had picked Ms. Palin more to help him win the election than because he thought that she was well qualified to be president; by contrast, 31 percent said they thought that Mr. Obama had picked Mr. Biden more to help him win the election, while 57 percent said it was because he thought Mr. Biden was well qualified for the job.
Ouch. 60 percent think she is unqualified and 75 percent think the choice was for political purposes only. Those are not good numbers, especially for a guy whose saying is “country first.”
The poll, by the way, was taken after the Charles Gibson interview.
Other key numbers line up in Obama’s favor as well. Though McCain leads on the “commander-in-chief” question, Obama beats him in just about every other category, from “understands my problems” to “improve our image in the world” to “shares my values” to “ability to make the right decisions.”
Those are very good numbers for the Obama campaign, especially when 80 percent think the country is headed in the wrong direction, 57 percent view McCain as a “typical Republican” and 46 percent say McCain will continue Bush’s policies.
Even the Democratic Party, America’s favorite whipping boy, has a higher approval ratings than the Repubs.
Hmm. Maybe there is hope after all.
When asked who they thought would win in November, 45 percent said Mr. Obama and 38 percent said Mr. McCain.