Poll Results: Obama and McCain Appear to be in an Even Heat … In a Democratic Year, Why Isn’t Obama Ahead … Flip-Flopping?
Flip-Flops … Hey Obama, if the shoe fits …
Obama’s flip-flopping may be cause for concern for many who voted for him during the Democratic primaries and even greater cause for concern for anyone who thinks that he can stick to a position.
What a difference a week makes with a poll. More to the point, what a difference flip-flopping makes to the results of a poll. Obama is doing everything he can to make it a close race. Imagine what poll numbers would look like if the media was not on his side? Both Republican, Democratic and non-partisan pundits are saying that the 2008 elections are going to be an overwhelming sweep for Democrats. Real Clear Politics shows that Democrats lead in the Generic Congressional Vote over Republicans by 12.2%. If this is the case, why isn’t Barack Obama leading John McCain by any substantial margin? Is he that bad a candidate?
Last week the Newsweek “mythical” poll had Obama leading McCain by 15 points, 51 to 36 percent. In the course of one week that same Newsweek poll has it a dead heat with Obama leading by 3 points, 44 percent to 41 percent. Why the massive free fall drop by the media darling, Obama? Could it be that Democrats are upset with their wanna be “Flip-flopper and Chief”? Obama’s reversal on FISA, faith based initiatives and the immediate pull out of troops from Iraq may be cause for concern for many Democrats. With all of Obama’s waffling and changing of positions … they voters might have well nominated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic candidate for this Falls Presidential election.
Obama’s rapid drop comes at a strategically challenging moment for the Democratic candidate. Having vanquished Hillary Clinton in early June, Obama quickly went about repositioning himself for a general-election audience–an unpleasant task for any nominee emerging from the pander-heavy primary contests and particularly for a candidate who’d slogged through a vigorous primary challenge in most every contest from January until June. Obama’s reversal on FISA legislation, his support of faith-based initiatives and his decision to opt out of the campaign public-financing system left him open to charges he was a flip-flopper. In the new poll, 53 percent of voters (and 50 percent of former Hillary Clinton supporters) believe that Obama has changed his position on key issues in order to gain political advantage.
Barack Obama has little experience and may have knowledge remembering the 1988 election between George H.W. Bush and Dukakis when the Democrat lead by 16 points only to get thoroughly thrashed in the election.
At the time of the last poll, pundits also noted that a large lead in the polls doesn’t always guarantee a general-election victory. Many warned that Democrat Michael Dukakis led George H.W. Bush by as much as 16 points in some 1988 polls and then went on to lose that year’s presidential contest.
But perhaps most puzzling is how McCain could have gained traction in the past month. To date, direct engagement with Obama has not seemed to favor the GOP nominee. McCain has announced major initiatives on energy and the economy but failed to dominate the conversation on those issues.