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Thread: Economic fears give Barack Obama clear lead in polls

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    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Economic fears give Barack Obama clear lead in polls

    Economic Fears Give Obama Clear Lead Over McCain in Poll

    Turmoil in the financial industry and growing pessimism about the economy have altered the shape of the presidential race, giving Democratic nominee Barack Obama the first clear lead of the general-election campaign over Republican John McCain, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll.

    Just 9 percent of those surveyed rated the economy as good or excellent, the first time that number has been in single digits since the days just before the 1992 election. Just 14 percent said the country is heading in the right direction, equaling the record low on that question in polls dating back to 1973.

    More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support. The poll found that, among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent. Two weeks ago, in the days immediately following the Republican National Convention, the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49 percent and Obama at 47 percent.

    As a point of comparison, neither of the last two Democratic nominees -- John F. Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000 -- recorded support above 50 percent in a pre-election poll by the Post and ABC News.

    Last week's near-meltdown in the financial markets and the subsequent debate in Washington over a proposed government bailout of troubled financial institutions have made the economy even more important in the minds of voters. Fully 50 percent called the economy and jobs the single most important issue that will determine their vote, up from 37 percent two weeks ago. In contrast, just 9 percent cited the Iraq war as their most important issue, its lowest of the campaign.

    But voters are cool toward the administration's initial efforts to deal with the current crisis. Forty-seven percent said they approve of the steps taken by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to stabilize the financial markets, while 42 percent said they disapprove.

    Anxiety about the economic situation is widespread. Just over half of the poll respondents -- 52 percent -- believe the economy has moved into a serious long-term decline. Eight in 10 are concerned about the overall direction of the economy, nearly three-quarters worry about the shocks to the stock market, and six in 10 are apprehensive about their own family finances.

    Two weeks ago, McCain held a substantial advantage among white voters, including newfound strength with white women. In the face of bad economic news, the two candidates now run about evenly among white women, and Obama has narrowed the overall gap among white voters to five percentage points.

    Much of the movement has come among college-educated whites. Whites without college degrees favor McCain by 17 points, while those with college degrees support Obama by 9 points. No Democrat has carried white, college-educated voters in presidential elections dating back to 1980, but they were a key part of Obama's coalition in the primaries.

    The political climate is rapidly changing along with the twists and turns on Wall Street, and it remains unclear whether recent shifts in public opinion will fundamentally alter the highly competitive battle between McCain and Obama. About two in 10 voters are either undecided or remain "movable" and open to veering to another candidate. Nevertheless, the close relationship between voters' focus on the economy and their overall support for the Democratic nominee has boosted Obama.

    Among white voters, economic anxiety translates into greater support for Obama. He is favored by 54 percent of whites who said they are concerned about the direction of the economy, but by just 10 percent of those who are less worried.

    The survey also found that the strong initial public reaction to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, has cooled somewhat. Overall, her unfavorable rating has gone up by 10 points in the past two weeks, from 28 percent to 38 percent.
    washingtonpost.com

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Much of the movement has come among college-educated whites. Whites without college degrees favor McCain by 17 points, while those with college degrees support Obama by 9 points. No Democrat has carried white, college-educated voters in presidential elections dating back to 1980, but they were a key part of Obama's coalition in the primaries.
    This reminds me of a poll that said women without college degrees were for Palin and women with college degrees that were not for Palin.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    This doesn't surprise me. But I don't think it's just the economy itself, I think it's the way Obama and McCain handled themselves last week. Obama was calm and steady, and McCain looked lost and was all over the place. It reminded me of the days following 9/11 where Bush looked totally lost and confused, and Colin Powell was the strong and steady one. And Bush looks just as lost and confused now with the potential financial meltdown.

    The survey also found that the strong initial public reaction to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, has cooled somewhat. Overall, her unfavorable rating has gone up by 10 points in the past two weeks, from 28 percent to 38 percent.

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    ^Her unfavorable rating is just going to keep growing the way the McCain campaign is handling her.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^Part of it is because of the way McCain/Palin are acting with the media. It reminds people too much of Bush/Cheney. If McCain doesn't want to be seen as Bush, then he should stop acting like him.

    off topic: where'd you get that photo of Palin in your signature? I've been trying to find one of McCain.

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    I got it from the Progressive Alaska blog. They had red lettering, so I overwrote it with white to be more visible.

    Progressive Alaska: Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-Three -- Palin Poll Plunge Persists

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^Thanks. The comments on that blog were interesting too.

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    ^Those Alaskan blogs are VERY interesting. Loads of info on them.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    I got it from the Progressive Alaska blog. They had red lettering, so I overwrote it with white to be more visible.

    Progressive Alaska: Saradise Lost - Chapter Eighty-Three -- Palin Poll Plunge Persists
    I REALLY like this post by Anonymous:
    September 23, 2008 12:01 PM
    Anonymous said...
    This whole campaign, has been a disasterous joke. How could that have happened? Thanks to the blogs. McCain did not vet Palin well enough, and she should have said, "no", I have children and Alaska to take care of. She is a train wreck for ego and arrogance. I have never seen anything like it. It is a soap opera. Now, McCain is keeping her from the press more. And hard to believe is the East Coast strange attornies running things. Palins policies on animals and Indians, is more than enough to turn me off, and then that isn't even getting to Women's issues. Guess she thinks of us women like the animals. We are on our own and survival of the fittest. Thank God for this blog and I can announce my frustrations. But, I can say the same of McCain for Arizona. He has always voted against the minimum wage going up, and never addressed an energy or transportation program. It is rugged in Arizona, as Alaska/ only a vast difference in temperature. So we love the place we live in for its ruggedness, but sure would be nice to have some ethical leadership to go along with that.
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    Elite Member dexter7's Avatar
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    funny, when mccain was leading in the polls, most people here were so sure that the polls weren't reliable, ie, they are only calling landlines, etc. now that obama is leading, everyone is just "not surprised, considering the way mccain has been handling himself", etc. either you believe in the polls, or you don't. you shouldn't flip flop based on who has a minor lead. imo of course.

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    Silver Member albatross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexter7 View Post
    funny, when mccain was leading in the polls, most people here were so sure that the polls weren't reliable, ie, they are only calling landlines, etc. now that obama is leading, everyone is just "not surprised, considering the way mccain has been handling himself", etc. either you believe in the polls, or you don't. you shouldn't flip flop based on who has a minor lead. imo of course.
    I saw a lot of people expressing concern about the polls after the RNC, with a lot of suggestions on how Obama should respond. I also saw people saying that the bump McCain got from Palin and the RNC would wear off. Finally, there were people that called the polls unreliable, but it didn't seem like most of the people fell into this group.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexter7 View Post
    funny, when mccain was leading in the polls, most people here were so sure that the polls weren't reliable, ie, they are only calling landlines, etc. now that obama is leading, everyone is just "not surprised, considering the way mccain has been handling himself", etc. either you believe in the polls, or you don't. you shouldn't flip flop based on who has a minor lead. imo of course.
    I agree people shouldn't believe, or not believe, in polls depending on which candidate is leading. But, in reality, the polls aren't that important, it's what happens on election day that matters. Although the polls do give you some idea of which way people are trending.

    And when McCain started making headway in the polls after Russia invaded Georgia I wasn't surprised either, because Obama was on vacation when that happened and it made McCain look like he was the one in command of the situation. Just like Obama looked more in command of the economic crisis last week.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    i hope the economy falls through the floor so people clue in
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    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
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    Won't affect me too much. I own my home outright, have a secure pension, and my kids are all grown with secure jobs, (nursing, teaching) So I say let it fail.
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

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    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexter7 View Post
    funny, when mccain was leading in the polls, most people here were so sure that the polls weren't reliable, ie, they are only calling landlines, etc. now that obama is leading, everyone is just "not surprised, considering the way mccain has been handling himself", etc. either you believe in the polls, or you don't. you shouldn't flip flop based on who has a minor lead. imo of course.
    The concern wasn't that the landline-based polls were completely baseless, but that they would tend to be skewed Republican due to cultural/whatever reasons for excluding cell-only citizens (a large number).

    If the polls are indeed skewed Republican, it just means that when reading them, you adjust the numbers with that in mind. If Obama's ahead by a lot, and you adjust for skewing, that puts him even further ahead.

    I don't know all the details about the cell/landline effect, so I can't say myself, just guess.

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