Sunday, January 06, 2008

McCain, Obama Peaking When It Counts

The American Presidential race is bringing a flurry of polls, stepping back, you see common threads developing in both parties.

For the Republicans, McCain seems to be cresting at just the right time. Last night's pivotal debate turned into a Romney bashfest, as all the other candidates pounced on his uneven record and penchant for flip flops. That debate may be McCain's last hurdle, and victory now looks within reach. The poll orgy:

NBC:

McCain 32%
Romney 24%

CNN

McCain 33%
Romney 27%

Concord Monitor

McCain 35%
Romney 29%

Zogby

Romney 32%
McCain 31%

ARG

McCain 39%
Romney 25%

Rasmussen

McCain 31%
Romney 26%

Suffolk Uni

Romney 30%
McCain 27%

Looking at the internals for both the CNN and NBC polls, McCain is extremely well liked, even amongst Democratic voters. If you average out all the polling, McCain is +5%, with a clear wind at his back.

On a side note, it was fascinating to watch McCain bring up global warming in a passionate way, considering the issue doesn't even register with Republicans, in fact it could alienate some. I was also struck with the genuine affection afforded McCain from all the Democrats, when all the candidates from both parties took the stage. Edwards and McCain actually embraced, the two have worked together in the past, most notably on the patient bill of rights legislation.

On the Democratic front, there isn't a poll out that doesn't show Obama moving up, it is the degree that is still an issue. Some polls this morning:
NBC:

Obama 33%
Clinton 31%
Edwards 17%

CNN:

Obama 33%
Clinton 33%
Edwards 20%

Concord Monitor

Obama 34%
Clinton 33%
Edwards 23%

ARG

Obama 38%
Clinton 26%
Edwards 20%

Rasmussen

Obama 37%
Clinton 27%
Edwards 19%

Suff

Clinton 35%
Obama 33%
Edwards 17%

Zogby

Clinton 31%
Obama 30%
Edwards 20%

Of note, both the Zogby and Suffolk rolling average polls have a closing gap. Suffolk had Clinton up 7% just yesterday, which suggests large movement for Obama in the last day of the poll. Zogby also had a 4% gap yesterday, down to 1% today. An average of all the polling, shows Obama +3% with some momentum still filtering through. Interestingly, Obama enjoys the same universal appeal that McCain does, the polls show him quite attractive to independents and Republicans have a favorable opinion.

I thought Obama did quite well last night. Clearly, his handlers focused on the need to look substantive, Obama was very detailed and achieved his goal of putting flesh on the rhetoric. Edwards also performed well, very passionate. Clinton did well, but there were hints of desperation and anger- she probably needed to do more.

This morning, former candidate Bill Bradley will endorse Obama:
"Barack Obama is building a broad new coalition that brings together Democrats, independents and Republicans by once again making idealism a central focus of our politics," Bradley said in a release scheduled to be released on Sunday.

"Because of his enormous appeal to Americans of all ages and backgrounds, Obama is the candidate best positioned to win in November. ... His movement for change could create a new era of American politics _ truly a new American story."

The significance of Bradley, who ran well in New Hampshire in 2000, isn't huge, but the fact that he plans to campaign with Obama tomorrow guarantees more positive press, on the eve of the primaries.

8 comments:

KC said...

I agree about Obama and the substantive stuff. I watched a debate a month or so ago and was so annoyed at how much fluffy rhetoric and empty platitudes the candidates were throwing around. Then last night we heard Obama actually explain (quite convincingly so actually) why--while he would support a single payer system if he started from scratch--he is in favour of another variant for health care. I had to shake my head and ask "are they actually discussing policy?".

Steve V said...

kc

Clinton looks really good in a substantive debate, she's a smart cookie, with a mind for detail. On substance, I don't think Obama won, but he was the one who had to show something beyond the easy platitudes, and he achieved that.

Just to add, Obama sounded better on foreign policy too last night. Previously, and this has been my hesitation with his candidacy, he offered pretty simplistic solutions to very complicated problems. Obama is defintely growing before our eyes.

bigcitylib said...

D'you think he'd have a hope against McCain? Giuliani? I think (as I've written elsewhere) that Obama crashes and burns against these two. Maybe he wins against the Mormon, but I'd say Huckabee could probably beat him. Too black, too Liberal (which words usually signifies the same thing when spoken by the Republican attack machine).

Steve V said...

bcl

I just commented at your place, McCain does very well against Clinton, and they are both known quantities. The simple fact, McCain will appeal to independents no matter the Dem nominee. The one thing Obama may have going for him, that Clinton might not, the generational gap with McCain (he freely admits ABBA is his favorite band). An interesting juxtaposition between the old warhorse and the change candidate. On the other hand, McCain can't use the experience angle against Clinton, so it really is a toss up. The bottomline, McCain should scare the Dems, he appeals to a wide swath of voters (CNN poll showed 65% of Democrats even have a favorable opinion).

Mushroom said...

Steve,

The irony is that Obama's grasp of foreign policy is actually a welcomed departure from the Clintons. Bill's major weakness in foreign policy is that the US needs to play a role in most issues. The result is a full plate but too many unfulfilled promises. Climate change, AIDS research, Mideast peace, nuclear non-proliferation etc.

Obama has the endorsement of Zbig Brezinski and Tony Lake. Both are critical of Clinton's "pluralistic" approach to foreign policy. Obama will concentrate on a few key issues such as Afghanistan and climate change while avoiding the hit a home run. This would be a welcome departure from the previous three administrations (anybody forget, Bush Sr.'s new world order????).

Steve V said...

mushroom

One caveat, Obama is big on nuclear proliferation.

Mushroom said...

Steve,

"Obama is big on nuclear proliferation."

You scared the hell out of me!!!! Did you suggest in your comment that Obama subscribes to a multipolar world in which each nation can procure a nuclear bomb?

Obama supports the ratification of the NPT. He will also support the continuation of a START III process with Russia.

Steve V said...

Let me amend :) Obama is big on stopping nuclear proliferation.