Pew Research Poll: Growing Doubts About John McCain

The Pew Research Center released a new poll today. Shorter version: Voters have increasing doubts about John McCain's judgment, age and campaign conduct.

Currently, Obama enjoys his widest margin yet over McCain among registered voters, at 52% to 38%. When the sample of voters is narrowed to those most likely to vote, Obama leads by 53% to 39%.

On views of Obama:

More voters see him as “well-qualified” and “down-to-earth” than did so a month ago. Obama also is inspiring more confidence on several key issues, including Iraq and terrorism, than he did before the debates. Most important, Obama now leads McCain as the candidate best able to improve economic conditions by a wider margin (53% to 32%).

As for McCain: [More...]

[A] widespread loss of confidence in McCain appears to be the most significant factor in the race at this point. Many more voters express doubts about McCain’s judgment than about Obama’s: 41% see McCain as “having poor judgment,” while just 29% say that this trait describes Obama. Fewer voters also view McCain as inspiring than did so in mid-September (37% now, 43% then). By contrast, 71% of voters continue to think of Obama as inspiring.

Roughly a third (34%) now says that McCain is too old to be president; in the Sept. 9-14 survey, just 23% said this. At this stage in the 1996 campaign, about as many voters (32%) said Republican candidate Bob Dole was too old to be president.

On Sarah Palin:

Sarah Palin appears to be a continuing – if not an increasing – drag on the GOP ticket. Currently, 49% of voters express an unfavorable opinion of Palin, while 44% have a favorable view. In mid-September, favorable opinions of Palin outnumbered negative ones by 54% to 32%. Women, especially women under age 50, have become increasingly critical of Palin: 60% now express an unfavorable view of Palin, up from 36% in mid-September. Notably, opinions of Palin have a greater impact on voting intentions than do opinions of Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate.

Obama's report card:

Obama, by contrast, receives the highest grades for a campaign dating to 1992. Nearly two-thirds of voters (65%) grade Obama’s efforts at convincing people to vote for him at A or B; about a third (32%) give Obama’s campaign a grade of C or lower.

Independents are trending away from McCain:

Most notably, he now trails Obama decidedly among political independents (51% to 33%). Yet he also has lost support among some voting blocs that previously had been strongly in his corner, including white evangelical Protestants and white men. McCain continues to lead Obama among older white men, but even here his margin over Obama has narrowed since mid-September.

On early voters:

The survey also finds that 31% of voters plan to vote before Election Day, or have already voted, compared with only 19% at this stage in 2004. Early voters lean heavily to Obama; 58% say they support Obama, compared with 34% for McCain.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Long, slow effect from the "debates" (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by wurman on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 08:20:55 PM EST
    & some growing dislike for the McCain negative ads may explain the seemingly steady increase of Sen. Obama's numbers & the decline of Sen. McCain's.

    And the Gov. Palin selection seems to drift downward on an almost daily basis.

    Sen. Obama's opinion numbers seem to be regularly over 50 percent now.  Can any daily observors of the GOP campaign efforts tell if McCain & Palin are just going through the motions as they limp to the finish?

    Growing doubts.... (1.71 / 7) (#12)
    by vml68 on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 07:34:27 PM EST
    After Biden's gaffe yesterday I am not sure where that "growing confidence in Obama on issues like terrorism" is going to come from.

    OT- I am probably going to get hateful comments or be deleted for this but....
    I would like to know why Obama is waiting till Thursday to visit his Grandma who (by all accounts in the media) is seriously ill. This is a woman who practically raised him and who he claims sacrificed a lot for him. I saw one photo of the two of them were she is holding him tight and has her eyes closed and you can just feel the love she has for him. It's hard for me to believe that I am the only one thinking this. And as far as I am concerned it does not reflect well on him at all. He has a d*mn plane at his disposal so why can't he make a quick trip?

    LarryInNYC (none / 0) (#14)
    by vml68 on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 07:50:09 PM EST
    Since you troll rated me (your perogative), can you atleast tell me why?

    she broke her hip (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 07:55:26 PM EST
    She just got home from the hospital. Follow the news please. There's no confirmation she is dying. He has the facts and you don't and it's the kind of personal character attack that is not allowed on this site.

    Question (none / 0) (#16)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 08:15:50 PM EST
    I am not sure this is the right place for this question.  But in the blogging world (especially the political one), are their internal discussions of the use of political parties or groups signing up usernames to create division or divide us?  

    Jeralyn... (none / 0) (#17)
    by vml68 on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 08:18:30 PM EST
    I am following the news. I don't trust CNN, FOX, etc.
    I read it on BBC and this is a direct quote "Madelyn Dunham, 85, who helped to raise Mr Obama, is said to be seriously ill."

    Hit post too soon. (none / 0) (#19)
    by vml68 on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 08:24:29 PM EST
    The BBC article does not mention a broken hip but I got this from Yahoo "It is reported that Dunham broke her hip recently and is "gravely ill," but the campaign will not elaborate on how much her health has deteriorated."
    So, I am not trying to stir up trouble or cause a "divide".

    Facts.. (none / 0) (#20)
    by vml68 on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 08:45:08 PM EST
    Unless LarryinNYC has inside information on Madelyn Dunham's health, I assume he gets his information like I do from the media. So for you to say he has the facts and I don't is a bit much. Every story I have read so far claims she is "seriously ill" or "gravely ill"
    If you feel that my question is a personal character attack on Obama, then fine you are entitled to your opinion and it is your blog. But do not throw "facts" in my face because I can prove you wrong.

    Huh (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by cal1942 on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 12:34:08 AM EST
    I assume he gets his information like I do from the media. So for you to say he has the facts and I don't is a bit much.

    The reference was to what Obama knows, not what LarryinNYC knows.

    Whatever your media sources, Obama, as a family member, has better information. Your judgement was faulty because your only source of information on what is a personal matter is at best third handed.

    You were quick to defame based on incomplete and poorly informed information.


    If I misread who Jeralyn was (none / 0) (#22)
    by vml68 on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 01:25:34 AM EST
    referring to then my apologies to her.

    As for "You were quick to defame based on incomplete and poorly informed information", thanks for being so quick to judge me and my intent.
    Here is a quote for you from Obama's Communications Director. "Robert Gibbs told reporters aboard Obama's plane that Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, who helped raise him, was released from the hospital late last week. But he said her health had deteriorated "to the point where her situation is very serious." Citing the family's desire for privacy, Gibbs would not discuss the nature of Dunham's illness. It seemed likely that she was close to death, as Gibbs said that "everyone understands the decision that Sen. Obama is making."
    Why make a statement like that and then say he is going to see her Thursday. The way I see it, they should have toned down the statement or he should have gone to see her right away. God forbid something happens to her before then, this will not look good for him.


    Why is early voting good? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Lil on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:05:08 PM EST
    Aside from banking someone who might change their mind, how does early voting help. I mean even if one is leading with this goup, doesn't that all even out by the time everyone votes? When I read that Obama is leading with this group, I just think the Republicans haven't voted yet.

    I don't like early voting either. (none / 0) (#2)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:06:15 PM EST
    Why not have voting day be a holiday?

    Well, I'm all for that too (none / 0) (#4)
    by Lil on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:08:46 PM EST
    what I mean though is why does our side celebrate leading with this group; doesn't it all even out to whatever % they were going to get anyway?

    I like early voting (none / 0) (#11)
    by WS on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 07:01:42 PM EST
    and making election day a national holiday.  

    I think early voting is good (none / 0) (#6)
    by robrecht on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:12:01 PM EST
    when you're hoping for a large turnout.

    Lines (none / 0) (#10)
    by CST on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:30:44 PM EST
    There are sometimes very long lines, especially in urban areas (aka DEM).  I saw this problem to a huge extent in Pittsburgh in 2004.  A lot of people ended up not voting because they couldn't afford to wait in line for hours.

    I agree with the other poster who said it needs to be a national holiday - although even then I'm not sure waiting 4 hours to vote would be that great.


    As I re-read this, (none / 0) (#3)
    by Lil on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:06:48 PM EST
    I realize there is so much more to mine out of this, but my question was the first thing that jumped out at me. I look forward to what everyone else has to say.

    Palin < Bush (none / 0) (#5)
    by robrecht on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:10:26 PM EST
    Chuck Todd told Tweety tonight that Palin has become a bigger drag on McCain than Bush.  Not sure what poll he was relying on.

    53% to 39% (none / 0) (#7)
    by robrecht on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:14:42 PM EST
    is NOT more narrow than 52% to 38%.

    Nevermind (none / 0) (#8)
    by robrecht on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:16:29 PM EST
    I get it now.  Population is narrowed to LV, lead is not narrowed.  Chardonnay.

    sometimes (none / 0) (#9)
    by Lil on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:18:52 PM EST
    i wish i could delete my own comments.

    ya (none / 0) (#13)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 07:39:13 PM EST
    It absolutely should be a national holiday, though I like early voting as well. I'm voting tommorrow.