Saturday, April 19, 2008

McCain - The GOP Comeback Kid


A new Associated Press-Yahoo news poll finds Senator McCain has managed to win the support of disgruntled Republicans, Independents and  moderate Democrats:

Of those who have moved toward McCain, about two-thirds voted for President Bush in 2004 but are now unhappy with him, including many independents who lean Republican. The remaining one-third usually support Democrats but like McCain anyway.

Also helping the Arizona senator close the gap: Peoples' opinions of Hillary Rodham Clinton have soured slightly, while their views of Barack Obama have improved though less impressively than McCain's.

The survey suggests that those switching to McCain are largely attuned to his personal qualities and McCain may be benefiting as the two Democrats snipe at each other during their prolonged nomination fight.

Tracking a group of about 2,000 people throughout the campaign, the AP-Yahoo poll reports some Republican-leaning voters who backed Bush in 2004 but lost enthusiasm for him are returning to the GOP fold — along with a significant number of Democrats who have come to dislike their party's two contenders:

The poll shows that McCain's appeal has grown since November by more than the Democrats' has dwindled. McCain gets about 10 percentage points more now than a generic Republican candidate got last fall; Obama and Clinton get about 5 points less than a nameless Democrat got then.

Underlining McCain's burgeoning popularity, in November about four in 10 considered McCain likeable, decisive, strong and honest while about half do now. Obama is seen as more likeable and stronger now but his numbers for honesty and decisiveness have remained flat, while Clinton's scores for likeability and honesty have dropped slightly.

The recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found a majority of voters now view Hillary as dishonest:

Nearly six in 10 said in the new poll that she is not honest and trustworthy. And now, compared with Obama, Clinton has a deep trust deficit among Democrats, trailing him by 23 points as the more honest, an area on which she once led both Obama and John Edwards.

Among Democrats, 63 percent called her honest, down 18 points from 2006; among independents, her trust level has dropped 13 points, to 37 percent. Republicans held Clinton in low regard on this in the past (23 percent called her honest two years ago), but it is even lower now, at 16 percent. Majorities of men and women now say the phrase does not apply to Clinton; two years ago, narrow majorities of both did.

According to the New York Times, the brawl that the battle for the democrats' nomination has devolved into is causing Democrats to question the party’s prospects in the November election. Nevertheless, that recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found "little public pressure to bring the long and increasingly heated contest to an end."

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