Patterico's Pontifications

8/31/2008

TIME/CNN Poll: Obama 49, McCain 48

Filed under: General — WLS @ 11:53 pm

Posted by WLS:

Survey taken 8/29-8/31 — first poll taken after both tickets were known.

And the GOP hasn’t had its convention yet.

McCain is going to be ahead 5-6 points next Sunday.

Which will make Jim Vandehei and John Harris look pretty stupid for having written this article based on their own knee jerk reaction to Palin’s selection:

The selection of a running mate is among the most consequential and the most defining decisions a presidential nominee can make. John McCain’s pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says a lot about his decision-making — and some of it is downright breathtaking…

1. He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. [I guess that explains why all the electoral map projections show McCain closing ground on Obama — just as he’s closed ground in the national polls — WLS]  The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters…. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election — and very sick of the Bush years. 

McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike. 

…..
2. He’s willing to gamble — bigtime. Let’s face it: This is not the pick of a self-confident candidate. It is the political equivalent of a trick play or, as some Democrats called it, a Hail Mary pass in football. [How about its a candidate making tactical and strategic decisions that give him the best opportunity to prevail.  Obama thought Biden did that for him, so as the “change” candidate he picked a guy who came to the Senate before Watergate, and who has twice been resounding rejected by his own party as “CinC” material.  Yep – that’s really “self-confident” on Obama’s part. — WLS]

He is smart enough to know it could work, at least politically. Many Republicans see this pick as a brilliant stroke, because it will be difficult for Democrats to run hard against a woman in the wake of the Hillary Clinton drama. Will this push those disgruntled Hillary voters McCain’s way? Perhaps. But this is hardly aimed at them: It is directed at the huge bloc of independent women who could decide this election — especially those who do not see abortion as a make-or-break issue. 

3. He’s worried about the political implications of his age. Like a driver overcorrecting out of a swerve, he chooses someone who is two years younger than the youthful Obama and 28 years younger than he is. (He turned 72 on Friday.) The father-daughter comparison was inevitable when they appeared next to each other.

4. He’s not worried about the actuarial implications of his age. He thinks he’s in fine fettle and Palin wouldn’t be performing the main constitutional duty of a vice president, which is standing by in case a president dies or becomes incapacitated. If he were really concerned about an inexperienced person sitting in the Oval Office, we would be writing about vice presidential nominee Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge or Condoleezza Rice.

Nor can McCain argue that he was looking for someone he could trust as a close adviser.

McCain has made a mockery out of his campaign’s longtime contention that Barack Obama is too dangerously inexperienced to be commander in chief. 

The McCain campaign has made a calculation that most voters don’t really care about the national experience or credentials of a vice president, and that Palin’s ebullient personality and reputation as a reformer who took on cesspool politics in Alaska matters more. [The truth is that the McCain campaign has done as much damage to Obama on the experience/celebrity issue as he is going to be able to do.  They’ve made that question central to Obama — its already established the narrative on that subject.  There is no need to bludgeon the public with it for another 10 weeks.  They’re going to move on to what an extreme liberal he is now. — WLS]

5. He’s worried about his conservative base. If he had room to maneuver, there were lots of people McCain could have selected who would have represented a break from Washington politics as usual. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman comes to mind (and it certainly came to McCain’s throughout the process). He had no such room. GOP stalwarts were furious over trial balloons about the possibility of choosing a supporter of abortion rights, including the possibility that he would reach out to his friend. 

6. At the end of the day, McCain is still McCain. People may find him a refreshing maverick or an erratic egotist. In either event, he marches to his own beat. 

I’ve got a lot of respect for these two guys as political writers.  Maybe they were working on deadline, and this was the best they could come up with.  But this is ham-handed and deserves to be mocked.  I think they’ll come to regret their snap judgments.

15 Responses to “TIME/CNN Poll: Obama 49, McCain 48”

  1. I’ve got a lot of respect for these two guys as political writers. Maybe they were working on deadline, and this was the best they could come up with. But this is ham-handed and deserves to be mocked. I think they’ll come to regret their snap judgments.

    I lost what respect I had for Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes tonight when, in an MSNBC-quality interview of Obama and Biden together, he asked B.O.: “Does the fact that [McCain] chose as his Vice President someone who has less experience than you take that weapon out of his arsenal?”

    L.N. Smithee (452a68)

  2. 5 and 6 are about right, the rest are just DNC talking points. Good thing he didn’t pick Liebs, that would have been a disaster,

    maguro (7351cf)

  3. Come on McCain-Palin Derangement Syndrome (MPDS)!!!

    Philip (7a1d9e)

  4. I hate polls. There are 300 million people in the United States. Probably 100 million are going to vote and you ask 900 people a question and that is what polls a based on. Nobody is going to know the results unitil Nov. 4. Polls are the biggest rip-offs in the world.

    A. C. (940257)

  5. VOTE FOR SARA PALIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POLLS CLOSE 5PM EST.

    THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS ARE VOTING FOR BIDEN…

    DEFEND PALIN TODAY!!!!! VOTE HERE VOTE NOW!!!!!!!!!

    BIDEN ~ PALIN POLL

    Sara (452435)

  6. I lost what respect I had for Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes tonight when, in an MSNBC-quality interview of Obama and Biden together, he asked B.O.: “Does the fact that [McCain] chose as his Vice President someone who has less experience than you take that weapon out of his arsenal?”

    Comment by L.N. Smithee

    My reaction is the opposite. Maybe Croft is a secret McCain supporter. Everybody watching is going to say to themselves; “Even less experience than you ?”

    Obama does not want “experience” talked about. Don’t you remember Roosevelt’s line about “Never mention rope in the house of a man who’s been hanged.”

    Mike K (2cf494)

  7. Palin
    Madness
    Syndrome

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  8. You should look into this “polling” data.. CNN’s poll was woefully inadequate, less than 1000 registered voters? On a weekend people are out and about? LOL check this out, a poll during the same time period with 3 times the voting sample has Obama up 6, and this is before the masterpiece of his acceptance speach. Even an average of all polls has Obama up four… Harrangues that make sense? Try DOING RESEARCH…

    austin (9cae62)

  9. Hey, Sara? Biden won your pathetic GOP poll… 94% to 6%… And this with a sample 3 times the size of the CNN poll this goofy post mentioned at start… LOL…

    austin (9cae62)

  10. austin, masterpiece of an acceptance speech? You must still be smoking what I smelled around the DNC last week. Obama’s speech was a mediocre job by his own standards, and the speech writing was equally mediocre. The excitement level of the audience was inversely proportional to the quality of the Invesco field sound system in their location.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. Mike K. wrote:

    Maybe [Steve] Croft is a secret McCain supporter. Everybody watching is going to say to themselves; “Even less experience than you?”

    Obama does not want “experience” talked about.

    “Experience” must be brought up because it is a legitimate issue, and there is no way that Kroft could have crafted the inevitable question regarding experience in a way more favorable to Obama.

    Obama has zero executive experience, two years in the Senate, and an unremarkable eight years as an Illinois State Senator that he’s unwilling to talk about in depth; Palin has two mayoral terms, and in just two years as Alaska Governor, is immensely popular with a solid record of reform.

    Here’s the question again:

    “Does the fact that [McCain] chose as his Vice President someone who has less experience than you take that weapon out of his arsenal?”

    Kroft didn’t qualify his query whatsoever; he just left it as a given that Palin comes up short. It was an underhand toss that Matthews/Olbermann would be proud of. There aren’t too many ways to screw up an answer to that question.

    L.N. Smithee (452a68)

  12. http://patterico.com/2008/08/28/justins-laws-of-interpreting-political-polling/

    2. Polls of “registered voters” are useless. Only concentrate on the polls of “likely voters”.

    4. Be extra suspicious of polls conducted by media organizations as opposed to organizations that concentrate exclsuively on polling full time.

    kirby (210727)

  13. WLS,

    This AP article confirms what you’ve been saying all along: Obama has to raise $100M a month in September and October to keep pace with McCain.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  14. I had on one of the cable news shows and a woman called in claiming to live in a town 15 minutes from where Palin was mayor. Woman claimed that the mayoralty experience of eight years meant nothing and that it was foolish to have Palin one heartbeat away from being President. Her popularity with Alaskans is ostensibly because she GAVE each Alaskan $1200. I call it all BS and didn’t listen beyond that.
    Could someone be so kind as to explain why it would have been ok for Obama to pick male governor Keane of Va. as VEEP, but a woman with similar time in office is considered inexperienced? Seems he is more hands on than many governors I’ve seen over the years. Her problem is that she’s a conservative. Clueless dipshit liberals have double standards.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  15. Keane was a natural pick for Obama and his “Change” message. The trouble is that Russia invaded Georgia and reminded everyone why experience matters. Obama then chose Biden who has warmed a seat on Foreign Relations for years. McCain, by choosing Palin, has grabbed the “change” banner and is running with it.

    By the way:

    Palin
    Madness
    Syndrome

    Can be shortened to Palindrome.

    Example: First Ladies rule the State and state the rule: ladies first

    Maybe you were thinking of that.

    Mike K (2cf494)


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