Skip to comments.Rasmussen 9/18: McCain 48%, Obama 48% (with analysis)
Posted on 09/18/2008 6:39:05 AM PDT by VinceASA
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack Obama gaining ground on John McCain for the third time in four days. The race for the White House is now tied with both candidates attracting 48% of the vote. Just a few days ago, McCain enjoyed a three-percentage point lead (see trends). Results are released every day at 9:30 a.m. Eastern and a FREE daily e-mail update is available.
The closeness of the race is confirmed by new state polling from Wisconsin and Oregon. While the ugliness of campaigns is always annoying to voters, just 23% believe that Election 2008 is more negative than most.
As the financial sector meltdown continues, consumer confidence has plummeted, falling 8% overnight. Forty-seven percent (47%) of voters now rate the economy as the top issue of Election 2008. Thats up from 41% this past Saturday morning. The number saying the country is heading in the right direction fell from 23% on Saturday to 18% now.
The financial crunch provides both opportunity and risk for the candidates. Voters are closely following the story but only one-in-four believe that either Obama or McCain is Very Likely to bring about the changes that are needed on Wall Street. Adding to the complexity for politicians everywhere is the fact that 49% worry that the federal government will do too much while just 36% are more worried that it wont do enough.
(Excerpt) Read more at rasmussenreports.com ...
Is the McCain softening the last few days due to a fading bounce or the financial markets issues?
The economy. The markets were poised to take off this morning before I left for the office.
Not a “dupe”. This post has analysis; the other doesn’t.
I’ll never understand how polls can change so quickly. Do millions of people really change their minds so fast, for no discernable reason?
It appears the Dow is up 100 or so already.
I think as long as the markets remain relatively stable, or at least don’t plummet too much, McCain should regain a couple points.
If not, I still think it’s winnable - too many people just don’t trust Obama and/or really like Palin.
I’d say yes, which is why I am not very optimistic.
Let's hope they really are closely following the story.
Hong Kong made a pretty nice reversal last night -- from down 7.7% at the low but recovered and closed down only 0.03%. 7.4% stock market rallies are something you don't see every day.
He stopped hitting Obama with his own record, went back to his wishy-washy RINO act, and appears to be afraid of the financial problems so much that he is letting Obama blame the GOP without really defending himself.
I don’t know if this is by design or if they were totally thrown off by the bank situation.
The negative attacks by Obama on McCain about the economy are having some effect, and McCain has not been very good in his response.
Polls are based on a small statistical sample. It doesn’t take a lot of people changing their minds to affect the poll results.
And if McCain loses, it will be because of economic conditions.
I agree. I finally got notice that I’m to receive my yard sign/bumper sticker after two weeks’ delay, owing to demand. Unfortunately I’ve seen my share of O bumpers in Iowa and N.C.
The word needs to get out that McCain was worried about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac years ago. The president tried to encouraged oversight and it was blocked by the congress, most interestingly Dodd, Obama and a few others. They were the people getting very nice interest rates. I somehow doubt that the MSM is going to report this, unfortunately.
It has to be the economy/wall street issue. McCain needs to attack Obama on Fannie Mae to turn the issue around on Obama.
Still, the fact that despite the negative ads, the attempted destruction of Palin, and the Dow taking a nearly 800 point loss, Ras has it a tie is encouraging.
Adding to the complexity for politicians everywhere is the fact that 49% worry that the federal government will do too much while just 36% are more worried that it wont do enough.............................. With the 9% Palosi/Reed in charge they can count on Congress doing nothing.
Agreed. For a while there, McCain’s campaign was just brilliant. They were hitting Obama in the gut every day. Now, they’ve backed off.
They also need to keep in mind that interesting result that Rasumussen found; that more people are worried about the government overreacting than underreacting.
People are not happy their investments are dropping.
McCain has an opportunity. Many people are now listening to the candidates because of the crisis. He has to contrast his record of reform, to Obama’s record of doing nothing. That is why they got a massive bounce at the convention. It is a time of crisis, and now is not the time for someone who has no experience and a extremely thin record.
[Adding to the complexity for politicians everywhere is the fact that 49% worry that the federal government will do too much while just 36% are more worried that it wont do enough.]
Yep. McCain has made a mistake taking the populist approach to this rather than the conservative one.
Perhaps the campaign is making sure they attack back the most effective way. I’d rather they wait a few days to act with a devastating ad against Obama, than throw a crappy one out right away.
It appears that the campaigns have entered a moment of equipoise. John McCain's masterstroke in selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate has about run its course leaving the race in the Electoral College in the balance.
Meanwhile, Wall Street has "melted down." This tends to favor Democrats who are traditional regulators of capitalism and further tends to reinforce their dreary version of the American economy. It gives them an opportunity to point fingers and blame Republicans because George Bush is in the White House. McCain has moved to confront the Wall Street meltdown but only defensively. He has taken steps to deflect the blame away from himself and onto both political parties, George Bush, and "selfish" Wall Street capitalists. At the same time, Sarah Palin has been confronted with a unprecedented series of attacks which cumulatively show signs of capping if not diminishing her astonishing popularity.
The danger now is that the convention/Palin surge has reached its high water mark and could even recede leaving the McCain ticket exposed to the many daunting secular trends which virtually all the pundits send have made his chances seem so poor and his advancement to this point so miraculous. It is unnecessary here to rehearse those demographic, economic, and media driven factors which make this a very difficult year for Republicans. If the surge has in fact run its course, if it is in full flood, McCain is in danger of being swept back by the inertia which always favored the Democrats this season. In this state of equipoise, the McCain campaign can remain essentially passive as it has since the Wall Street problem began or it can move over to offense. Those who believe that political campaigns are won on defense will probably oppose the recommendations to follow. My belief is that if McCain does not take charge of events, events will take charge of his campaign and these events will be largely described by the media. If events do not take charge, and the media does not take charge, the debates will decide the affair.
That sounds to me like three ways to lose.
McCain and Palin have declared themselves to be the people who can go to Washington and actually reform that mess, unbeholden to party or interest group, they say they are qualified because they are possessed of a record in Alaska and in the Senate of actual reform.
Let the reformers reform!
The house has just passed one of the most cynical political travesties in the history of an institution renowned for its cynicism. The bill which purports to permit offshore drilling in effect prohibits offshore drilling wherever there is any oil to drill. In reality it permits no drilling but rather subsidizes it impractical left-wing alternative energy hobbyhorses. It is a cynical move to cover Democrats fingerprints which are all over the energy fiasco and $3-$4 gasoline. Here is a holy crusade ready to be led by the woman whom John McCain has said would head up energy in his administration. If Palin cannot effectively shred the House Democrats for this travesty and bring the American people to a boil on the subject, there is no issue on which she can lead, there is no place where she can reform.
In a stroke she can free herself of the Lilliputian attacks alleging she is too small for the job and transform herself into a major player on one of the most important issues which confront voters. She can do it with the single issue upon which she is most knowledgeable. It would validate her as a reformer and validate McCain's choice for Vice President. It would put the Democrats entirely on the defensive on an issue where they cannot win if they are only confronted but which they can contrive to camouflage if the McCain camp remains passive or even vague. Promises that we will drill offshore are now not enough. We have this travesty of a bill before us and it is the perfect vehicle to expose the Democrats and illuminate McCain and the Republicans.
Seize the mettle!
At the same time, while Palin is making a very serious address before an important forum on energy focused around the offshore drilling bill, McCain should be scheduling his own attack on the issue of the finance problem in Wall Street and Main Street. McCain's own record on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae looks to be clean and it looks like he timely called for reform. Although he took some money, it does not appear that it affected his posture on reform. The same cannot be said of the whole Democrat elite. McCain should name names and go right after them, Obama not excepted, as one of the largest recipients of taxpayer money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. McCain should hang Lehman Brothers right around their necks. He should indict the Democrats as the authors of the subprime mess.
If McCain does not act now, the show trials in the house, and no doubt the Senate, will make a hash of the politics and put the blame on George Bush, and by extension all Republicans. If McCain does not act now, the media will put the issue away and we might never recover. Obama is already explicitly blaming the Republicans, George Bush, and by extension, John McCain, for the Wall Street meltdown. John McCain has gone on the morning shows and called for an investigation by a "commission." McCain says he can reform, McCain says he is not afraid, then let McCain for once reform the Democrats. Find a venue, I say, and lay out the indictment, tell the people that it' s the fault of the Democrats, tell them that so long as the Democrats are in power of financial system it cannot be reformed, tell them that we will never clean up Wall Street and we will never get any oil out of the ground so long as Democrats are running the show. Tell them that every well that we do not drill finances another Russian nuclear bomber flying out of Venezuela. Tell them that every well we do not drill means good American jobs languishing. Tell them that every well we do not drill means America gets weaker before its enemies
Forget Teddy Roosevelt and this damned nonsense about greedy capitalists and the need for regulation, instead remember Harry Truman and his righteous indignation about a party that puts itself over country. John McCain, if you cannot hang this around the neck of Barney Frank who opposed the original reform legislation of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, around the neck of Charlie Rangel who is a tax cheat and who insisted on subprime mortgages, around the neck of Nancy Pelosi who engineered a sham drilling bill while Americans are being impoverished at the pumps, around the neck of Barak Obama as a Chicago hack on the take from all of them, you ain't no reformer.
That's half the battle, the rest consists of telling the country that the road to recovery comes from cheap energy and transparency not from engrossing government and putting people like Jamie Gorelick in charge of financial institutions where they cooked the books and wrote themselves checks from taxpayer funds for tens of millions of dollars. Real reform comes from transparency. Lay out how you will make it transparent. Show how the Democrats blocked transparency, how they blocked the very hearings which they now demand. Demand an investigation by the Attorney General-not by politicians-because some of this was criminal. Tell Americans that it was not capitalism which failed us but Democrats who have perverted capitalism out of personal greed. Make the case!
John McCain thinks he can skate this controversy by skating around his own party. He cannot. The media will not let him. They will make sure that the Democrats hang Wall Street around his neck. Consider a day on FreeRepublic: Attacks against McCain and Republicans are made by Democrats and trumpeted in the mainstream media, or they are made directly by the mainstream media. The replies? Too often we read them from publications like National Review or Human Events only too infrequently do we see a major publication like The Wall Street Journal ride to the rescue. We cannot win an election being bludgeoned by the mainstream media and defended only in the blogosphere. Somehow McCain must break into the cycle. John McCain, you can try if you want to deflect the financial crisis by mealymouthing and telling the people that there is enough blame to go around, or you can tell them the truth. You can win independents or you can throw away the base that you won by your brilliant pick of Sarah Palin. You can make your presidency worth the effort, worthy of the millions who want to put their trust in you, worthy of the commitment you made in your cell at the Hanoi Hilton to serve your country. You can demonstrate that you really understand that reform does not mean sodomizing Democrats, it means putting people first.
Seize the initiative, drive it home and take the election!
I think this is very encouraging. That McCain is still tied with all that’s going on in the financial markets must mean the underlying fundamentals of this election point to a McCain victory. Obama is just too far to the left and too inexperienced. I’m waiting for McCain to really launch some attack ads about Obama’s ties to the people that caused this fiasco and also hopefully attacking Obama’s Treasongate episode in Baghdad. I’m surprised they haven’t since they’re usually on top of things like this. I’m hoping they’ve got something devastating up their sleeves. Maybe they’re just trying to verify the exact extent of Obama’s interference with U.S. foreign and military policy before they pounce
I’m actually thankful the polls have closed back to about even, as could have been anticipated before the conventions. I was getting sick and tired of the manic phase (”It’s a landslide, baby!”) of PBD. So now we can settle back into the depressive (hysterical handwringing “woe is us”) phase of PBD for a while.
48-48 Thats great! SHould be Dems by +15 but they are slightle behind....... we are in a great spot as the debates will change the direction next..... we got the better man..... the “UH” guy will lose.
Right... ads that would get washed out by monster headlines.
It would be important for McCain to separate “the economy” from “the financial sector”.
I think it's the PC “Bradley” effect of many people not trusting the pollsters and not exactly telling the pollsters what they really think or feel.
It's the usual leftist PC intimidation.
If Hussein Obambi O’Baloney wins, we are doomed. If he wins and we're lucky, the military will stage a coup d'etat and drive a tank into the White House and remove Obambi and all his treasonous leftist cohorts and enablers and throw them into the stockades.
That's how Katrina became a GOP debacle. It was a Dem mayor who failed to fully evacuate the city, and a Dem governor who waited two days to invite FEMA in. But because the stranded people in New Orleans were (in Wolf Blitzer’s words) “so very black” the meme was immediately created that Bush didn't care about them because of the color of their skin. Bush was afraid to fight back because the howls of racism grew louder each time, as he would be accused of attacking a black mayor and black residents for not getting out of there themselves.
The only way for McCain to fight back on this is to be willing to weather a “racism” charge. He may decide, like Bush, to just keep his mouth shut and take the blame for the debacle rather than risk such a charge. Does anyone here think McCain has the political nerve to say that minorities who aren't financially qualified for a home loan shouldn't get them?
I agree in prinicple.
Good point. I agree. I think most people have already decided and Palin has added to our advantage.
I think most “ordinary” people in this country don’t want to vote for a leftist/socialist/radical and possible Muslim and his nasty witch wife.
Maybe that’s just me.
“Ill never understand how polls can change so quickly. Do millions of people really change their minds so fast, for no discernable reason?”
No. It’s more likely that polls are manipulated so that the MSM can play out their (leftist) narrative and have something to write about.
“It is a time of crisis, and now is not the time for someone who has no experience and a extremely thin record.”
I agree, but it probably would have helped if McCain hadn’t publicly stated that “he didn’t know much about economics.”
“Ill never understand how polls can change so quickly. Do millions of people really change their minds so fast, for no discernable reason?”
I’ve come to the conclusion that a sizable portion of the electorate really IS like this.
I call them the “waving wheat” voters (and I take credit for coining that phrase).
Like the wheatfields of Kansas, they tend to tilt en masse towards whichever way the “prevailing political winds” of the moment happen to be blowing.
I sense a large part of the waving wheats is comprised of so-called “independent” voters who are too wishy-washy or afraid to “make up their minds”. They’ll _tell you_ they are “independent” and not committed to either party or to any particular ideology. Perhaps they “don’t want to offend anyone” with their opinions (if they even HAVE political opinions). Perhaps they are so noncomittal, they don’t want to offend _themselves_ by _forming_ an opinion.
Another contingent of the waving wheats are those who are essentially “non-political” in nature, and who vote only because they’ve been told that they’re supposed to do that in a democracy. Otherwise, they wouldn’t even bother.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend of my son's last night. He was talking about how he doesn't trust Obama and wouldn't vote for him. He is in college and all of the kids in his school are in the tank for Obama. He said he doesn't discuss his preference for McCain with them in fear he would be called a racist. He said when other students said anything negative against Obama that is what they were accused of so he wasn't even going to bother to talk to them.
I thought it was very revealing and got me thinking that maybe some of the poll results lately that have given Obama the bounce that he has is indeed a result of the Bradley effect. I noticed that over the past few days the media are once again bringing in the race card and that may have something to do with it.
McCain needs to hammer the point home that the current problems are due to corruption in Congress, not Wall Street, and point out that Barack "Fannie Mae" Obama and Chris "Countrywide Whore" Dodd were at the heart of the issue and blocked needed reforms.
Just wow. Very impressive analysis. I thoroughly enjoyed that read. BTW, I was just studying the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads. N. B. Forrest was one helluva commander...
The thing that’s fishy about this poll is that 96% of the folks are decided. That is pretty high.
Hey, people have been trying to tell these RINOs that the American people want conservatism. The excitement over Palin isn’t because she’s a woman. It’s because she is a genuine conservative who can articulate conservatism. She not only lives her values, but can clearly explain them without hesitation.
People are sick of the wishy-washy crap. They don’t like liberalism, but often don’t find any other alternative. And when the only thing that sort of suffices as an alternative becomes corrupt and even dumber than usual, they tune out.
McCain has to stop the wishy-washy crap, stop being afraid of the press, stop being cowed by Dems accusing Republicans of being ‘racist’. Control the argument, control the news cycle by coming out swinging.
Start with the following:
From now on, EVERY ad with a claim about our opponent will be given it’s own web page, where every claim will be FULLY documented. Go on, media and Dems. Call it ‘lies’. We’ve got the documentation and all you have is obfuscation and distortion.
He should come out with an internet ad saying the above and then hit Obama with Fanny Mae ties, treason, born alive, anti-gun, everything under the kitchen sink within 24 hours of that add, providing full documentation for all claims made.
Trust me, they are not prepared for this and will NOT know what to do about it.
I completely agree. That would be a very good way to be able to deal with Obama’s objections to the truth.
I don't think that that would actually be that hard to explain (such that even Obama would understand it). Lowering the standards for financing a house allowed people (not just the minorities) to afford a house that they shouldn't have bought. This artificially raised the value of housing (the bubble that recently burst). If minorities were assisted in purchasing housing within their means, they still would have had home ownership and, quite possibly, would still be in them.
The Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae game, in my opinion, was a pyramid scheme that would have continued working if the housing market continued to experience strong growth. Everyone was betting on a house being worth a lot more next year and would have covered the bad debt. When the housing market eroded, the rest was just a matter of time.
Saw a guy on Fox news last night (Mike Allen from the “Politico”) who said both candidates were using “placeholder” answers on the economy while they figured out what they really needed to say. Seems about right. McCain’s anti-capitalist streak comes out at the worst times-—like this.
LS, BattleGround the Gold Standard pollster, who is run Non Partisan, has McCain up 2 today.
After a horrible week for McCain, he is up 2 and Tied(RAS) in the wtow best pollsters.
I’m not worried about where McCain is now. I suspect if the election were held today, he’d get 274-279 EVs. I am concerned that for the first time in months, Obama may have a message that really appeals to blue-collar/middle class folks.
I got my McCain/Palin yard sign, ordered it the day she was announced........neighbors love it! they are “J” and want their own.....even strangers walking by. one lady this morning paused to gaze at the sign, then pointed to it and gave my husband a thumbs up and a smile......he didn’t even know her.
Point Taken.. I am hearing whispers here in the Chicago area about the Palin email hacking.
The Secret Service has pinned down the server to a Chicago ISP. And the AP will not release them.
LS, the Secret Service does not screw around, if this is a Obama supporter...........
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