In a Post-ABC News poll, 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.
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.
Among the reasons McCain's path to victory seems steeper is that the percentage of "movable" voters continues to shrink. Thirteen percent of all voters are now either undecided or may change their mind before Election Day, down somewhat from recent polls.
Adding to McCain's burden as the standard-bearer for the party in power is an unprecedented grim view of the country overall: Ninety percent of Americans now see the country as headed in the wrong direction, the worst rating in polls dating to 1973.
Twenty-three percent of all adults -- and 18 percent of political independents -- gave the president good marks, putting him within a point of Harry S. Truman's record low in a February 1952 Gallup poll. The low ratings continue to have a dampening effect on McCain: 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.
With the airwaves in battleground states reaching saturation level and coverage of the campaign intensifying, 59 percent of voters said that McCain is mainly on the attack, a marked increase over the 48 percent who said the same in August. And 35 percent of respondents said McCain is addressing the issues, in stark contrast with the 68 percent who said Obama is doing so.
That follows a report issued last week by the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project that found that nearly all of McCain's television spots in early October were negative ads, compared with about a third of Obama's.
On taxes, an issue that often benefits Republicans and that McCain has worked aggressively to highlight, Obama holds a significant lead for the first time as voters gave the Democrat an 11-point edge on whom they trust to handle tax policy.
Obama also continues to stay above the 50 percent mark on the key question of his experience: 54 percent in the new poll said he has enough experience to serve effectively as president, putting him about even with where Bill Clinton was on this question in early October 1992.
It doesn't help that McCain's rallies have started to resemble KKK rallies. Supporters yelling "terrorist", "Arab", "kill him"... and while McCain might not endorse the bigotry directly, his nutjob running mate is out there inciting it.
posted by Eshto, at
10/13/2008 10:29 AM
I'm looking forward to this debate wed. I hope Obama is prepared and strong enough to stand up to McCain- what I mean is all these people who are begging McCain to be tough on Obama such as the Black conservitive talk show host who said he's begging McCain to get tough on Obama. also I'm a little concerned about this Bradly effect I been hearing about,I'll be very depressed If McCain wins because of the Bradly effect
posted by Ken, at
10/13/2008 10:37 AM
In the end, polls, while a good indicator, will never ever be able to absolutely predict a final outcome. Human beings are fickle that way. I found that fivethirtyeight.com has a fantastic polling system that has given great, accurate results.
But it's no time for Obama supporters (of which I am one) to get over-confident. What if another crisis or event happens? How each candidate responds will be crucial. Like, for example, Bin Laden could release another video tape that effectively and subtly "endorses" Obama for President. It doesn't take too much to fool the uneducated. 21 days - 3 weeks - is a lifetime in the political world.
posted by Emily K, at
10/13/2008 1:19 PM
Bob Schieffer, the moderator of the upcoming "debate", could blow McCain's campaign apart by bringing up the race card/Ayers connection to terrorism/killing Obama jibes by those attending McCain's rallies. Why only now does McCain repudiate those remarks, why didn't he put a stop to them earlier on, while Palin goes on a rampage spreading her venom and lies? As far as I'm concerned, McCain has blown it, he's doomed to failure and should as I've stated before, write his concession speech instead. Another thing...how can Palin be deemed qualified to know anything about the economy and taxes? She governs a state that has no income tax or sales tax, but relies solely on oil revenues. She hasn't a clue.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
10/13/2008 1:27 PM
Anything can happen in this election. Obama is poised to become the next President of the United States, but these things can change literally overnight. Having said that, we would certainly rather be in our candidate's shoes than McCain's. Wednesday night's debate will reveal the strategies that both of these men will bring to the final three weeks of this campaign. Let's keep our fingers crossed!
posted by Chris L., at
10/13/2008 4:08 PM
If that man said "my friends" to me in person, I would probably vomit all over him. I wouldn't do it on purpose; it would just be an involuntary reaction. I am so sick of him saying that.
posted by libhom, at
10/14/2008 12:32 AM
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posted by lili, at
4/27/2010 9:54 PM