Barone on the Obama deflation

posted at 10:15 am on May 3, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Michael Barone takes a look at the polls and sees a definite trend, one that Barack Obama can only hope changes in the next 72 hours. Obama’s support has begun to erode, and his negatives have started reaching the same league as that of Hillary Clinton. He may still win the nomination out of inertia, but that may be the only force working for Obama now:

But what about the voters? Here there are some ominous signs. The latest Fox News poll, conducted after the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s appearance at the National Press Club, showed Obama’s favorable/unfavorables at 63 to 27 percent among Democrats, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 73 to 22 percent. Suddenly she’s not the only one with high negatives. And 36 percent of Democrats say they would be disinclined to vote for Obama because of his longtime relationship with his former pastor. There’s more bad news in The Pew Research Center poll of Democrats. Obama’s national lead among Democrats is down from 49 to 39 percent to a statistically insignificant 47 to 45 percent.

These results are not outliers. The Rasmussen tracking poll showed Obama leading Clinton 49 to 41 percent before Wright spoke to the National Press Club. Afterward the numbers were 46 to 44 percent in favor of Clinton. The Gallup Poll had Obama leading Clinton 50 to 41 percent the night before the Pennsylvania primary. The results reported May 1 were Clinton 49 percent, Obama 45 percent.

Obama’s standing as a general election candidate also seems to have taken a hit. Gallup showed him tied with John McCain 45 to 45 percent before the Wright appearance and trailing 47 to 43 percent afterward; at the same time, it shows Hillary Clinton tied with McCain 46 to 46 percent. Similarly, Rasmussen has McCain now ahead of Obama 46 to 43 percent and McCain tied with Clinton 44 to 44 percent.

Barone believes that one problem for Obama wasn’t so much what Jeremiah Wright said, but how Obama handled it. He started off declaring that Wright had given us an opportunity to talk about race in his March 18th speech in Philadelphia, but that quickly changed into a “distraction” when it became apparent that race wasn’t really the issue with voters and the Wright Stuff. He also asserted that he could never disown Wright on March 18th, only to reverse himself and throw Wright under the bus six weeks later.

Even those two issues become secondary, though, to what Wright said. American voters wonder how Obama could have remained oblivious for 20 years to Wright’s passionate belief that the US invented AIDS as a genocidal tool against people of color, as well as Wright’s affection for Louis Farrakhan. The latter seems especially suspicious, given Wright’s high-profile accolade to Farrakhan through Trinity United Church of Christ last year. Suddenly declaring that he found it offensive makes Obama look either disingenuous or unbelievably uninformed, neither of which commends his judgment to voters.

North Carolina will demonstrate whether Obama’s campaign has begun to run out of steam. He was widely expected to lose Indiana, although Obama thought he could keep it close until last week. Now he’s all but conceded the state, and will likely focus on shoring up North Carolina instead. If he can’t deliver a win there, he will be looking at the wrong end of a late-campaign rout — and superdelegates will find themselves on the spot to a greater degree than ever.


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Well, this is what happens when you’re all about identity politics. You end up promoting a guy who’s never so much as led a boy scout troop, and thus never had his closet vetted.

At first I thought the Repubs were going to splinter before the Dems, but now both parties may not last much longer. How can they survive when a goodly portion of the support they receive is simply a vote against the other party’s nominee?

Mr. Bingley on May 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

I’m confident that a “black American” will be our President someday in the not so distant future. Obama will not be the one, simply because he is not the right American to hold such a powerful position; in fact, he is nothing other than a creation of the media and Hollywood elites. These elitist hold themselves in such high regards, when in fact they themselves have set off a fire storm of racism the likes we have not seen in decades. Like it or not, we going to have a discussion about racism in the form of “black value systems” compliments of the self titled “elitists”. Quite frankly, the whole thing makes me angry and sickens my spirit that this crap is being taught in churches and schools across the county. Teaching hatred of white people; teaching an entire generation how/why they are victims… Disgusting.

Keemo on May 3, 2008 at 10:32 AM

How can they survive when a goodly portion of the support they receive is simply a vote against the other party’s nominee?

Mr. Bingley on May 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Very good question.

Weight of Glory on May 3, 2008 at 10:34 AM

As an average voter let me say that this whole Wright episode has made me pity Obama, not hate him. But which is worse, pity or hate? I contend it’s the former because hate has a way of fading away, while pity clings much longer.

Especially when the subject of that pity (and his wife) so willingly embrace victimhood (as if that will endear them to voters beyond their circle of rich, white guilt ridden friends).

miles on May 3, 2008 at 10:39 AM

How can they survive when a goodly portion of the support they receive is simply a vote against the other party’s nominee?

Mr. Bingley on May 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Sometimes you just have to play defense.

EJDolbow on May 3, 2008 at 10:43 AM

Barry became a bit too enamoured with his own oratorical skills. He thought he could talk his way out of anything. He still might do it. I think in a one to one debate vs McCain in the general, he’ll do very well, now that he’s had time to plot his course, and McCain shows no willingness to be aggressive against him. If no more surprises erupt demanding extemporaneous responses, the general could be a lot tougher than we think at present.

a capella on May 3, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Political operatives did me a favor by revealing the can of worms of race hatred was still open.

They did this by getting the Wright story to break late, not early, which forced people to take sides on camera.

Obama did me a favor by revealing his affection for the vile Wright who keeps on spewing

By vacillating on Wright, Obama negated the careful work done to re-stage his wife as a non racist. Whether she is or not, she cannot be rehabilitated to those who questioned her comments

The MSM did the public a favor by sitting on a story that was no secret so long they cut their credibility just before the election

Rev Wright did Hillary a favor by expounding so clearly that Hillary got polished like a walnut. Only a Wright, who comes across as a black Hitler in a racist church, and scares the bejesus out of people, could have re-staged Hillary as one of the good guys because she does not overtly hate America

You cannot put Wright back in the can, and Hillary can never look quite as bad

Obama is a midget in the world of politics. He did this nation no service with the baggage he carries

entagor on May 3, 2008 at 11:03 AM

I’m bothered this issue hasn’t been framed better.

. It’s not whether he believes all that Wright believes
. It’s not the swaying, yelling, and emotionality of the black church, a level of feeling which many white churches would frankly envy
. It’s not a question of “guilt by association”

The issue is, how did Obama FEEL sitting in church listening to his close friend and mentor Wright for 20 years? He’s never come close to addressing this. I can tell you how I feel about it. Wright’s words and the glee with which he says them are noxious; some rise to the level of revolting hate speech. When he sat there and that sickening feeling came over him, if indeed it did, how did he deal with it. That’s the kitchen table, bread and butter question I’d like answered.

Oh and I’m sorry, the answer “he didn’t say such things when I was in church” doesn’t cut it for me. That’s not an honest answer.

Paul-Cincy on May 3, 2008 at 11:09 AM

The problem Obama now faces is that his handling of the Wright issue has shown that he lacks both judgment and a backbone. I won’t bother to discuss the judgment part, but as to backbone, had he possessed one he would have thrown Wright away as soon as he became an issue. Instead he waffled until forced to do something. I understand that it is difficult to throw friends away, but Obama’s handling of it by saying he could no more throw Wright away than he could his grandmother, and then proceeding to do so demonstrates that he was not willing to do so until pushed hard enough. Once he made that silly statement about not being able to throw Wright away, he was stuck with it and his later denunciation of Wright only shows his lack of backbone. Simply put, he lacked the backbone to throw Wright away when it would have helped him, and then lacked the backbone to stand by what he said when his first attempt did not solve his problem.

So the question that leaves us with is do we want a president who has to be forced to do what is right as evidenced by the fact that anyone could see Wright had to go? Or can one who can be pressured into doing what he thinks is wrong, as evidenced by his original reason for not casting Wright aside? And don’t try to defend him on the basis of his not knowing what Wright said because it had been run all over television stations time and time again when he made his first speech on the subject. Even if he had not heard Wright’s offensive words in church, he had to know what Wright had said by that time.

Fritz J. on May 3, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Obamas’ legacy will eventually become, in Political terms, equivalent to the Mendoza Line in baseball.

there it is on May 3, 2008 at 11:13 AM

Paul-Cincy

He was there because he and his wife belonged there. That’s the obvious answer.

The more complete answer I think is that his wife is a full blown racist, black-segregationist, socialist. SHE (who must be obeyed) wanted to stay in that church and Barry O. was to big of a wussy boy to insist that they leave. Isn’t is obvious that she runs that household?

He’s totally whipped.

Mojave Mark on May 3, 2008 at 11:16 AM

So he threw his grandmother under the bus to save Wright, and then threw Wright under the bus to try and save himself.

Looks like a normal self-serving politician to me.

Strike the “normal” part actually. As slimy as even the Clinton’s are, I don’t actually remember them throwing family members and “spiritual mentors” under the bus.

18-1 on May 3, 2008 at 11:32 AM

Mojave Mark on May 3, 2008 at 11:16 AM

He’s probably literally whipped.

Show a little compassion for an abused spouse. Someone should try to get him to a shelter.

misterpeasea on May 3, 2008 at 11:32 AM

As the stealth candidate becomes visible he becomes vulnerable.

TooTall on May 3, 2008 at 11:33 AM

If only Tupac and B.I.G. were here, they’d save Barry!

But the Man offed them (as Alicia Keys bravely revealed) to keep the People of Color down.

Wright is obviously a CIA deep-cover disinformation operative designed and programmed (when he was in the Marines/Navy) to activate and undermine any black candidate he came across who seemed viable.

Spike Lee’s tinfoil dew-rag told me so.

Everyone to the mothership!

profitsbeard on May 3, 2008 at 11:36 AM

Hussein is a racist bigot and an anti American socialist like his mentor. Otherwise, he would not have invested in twenty years of indoctrination.

Hussein is not to be pitied or hated IMHO, he is to be feared, for his incompetence, lack of leadership experience, associations with terrorists, endorsements from terrorists, social views, bigotry, racism and political ideology.

He is a monster with a glib tongue and an easy smile.

No one should want to put the fate of the free world in this mans hands.

dogsoldier on May 3, 2008 at 11:36 AM

one that Barack Obama can only hope changes

LOL. Did you do that on purpose?

malan89 on May 3, 2008 at 11:44 AM

The problem was that his “race speech” was a piece of evasive expedient crap, and it only fooled the lib and dumber conservative pundits, like Peggy Noonan, whom praised it effusively.

It simply sounded like a typical race dodge to most people.
And that attack on his white grandmother – a woman who literally saved his life – was disgusting.
And yes – it did illuminate a lot about race relations in this country. And it was not a pretty sight to see..
It pointed out (as did the OJ case) how logically dysfunctional many of our African-American fellow citizens have become, due to an infantile victim mentality that is perpetrated by their community leaders, the government, and the lib MSM.
It reinforced a feeling, simmering since the OJ case and even earlier, that there was a true cultural divide here and the “healing”, such as it is, should come from the more victim-obsessed sections of the African-American community itself. That is where most of the pathopsychology resides.

TexasJew on May 3, 2008 at 11:44 AM

Obama’s chickennnsss..have flowwwnnn…the coop!

alycan1 on May 3, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Well…as Rush said…if blacks as a voting bloc haven’t abandoned the democrats yet they probably never will. 50+ years of empthy rhetoric, yet it’s still 90%. *sigh*

SouthernGent on May 3, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Where is the rest of the Obama extended family? How come we never see them (except for a few comments here and there from his 1/2 sister)? Are they cowering in fear as the bus of damocles swings above their heads???

HawaiiLwyr on May 3, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Nice summary, Ed. I too see NC as pivotal. What I believe is going on is a test of identity politics. Will Democrats demonstrate that Dr. Martin Luther King’s words are viable in a Presidential election (judging a man by the content of his character)?

redneck hippie on May 3, 2008 at 12:37 PM

I have a vision of Obama in the far future as an old man, rocking in his rocker and watching, over and over, the video clip of the crowd breaking into wild applause when he sneezed, and sighing, “Those were the days, man. Those were the days.”

And the rest of the world will say, “Who was Obama?”

Tantor on May 3, 2008 at 12:40 PM

I live in north Carolina and can tell you, Qbama will get well over 90% of the black vote. He will also carry about all the towns around the universities and many larger city’s. There’s no shortage of STUPID people in North Carolina.

2theright on May 3, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Here’s an upbeat and funny You Tube video that tries to subvert our firmly held beliefs. Obama as Luke and Hillary as Darth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8lvc-azCXY

Today, both Democrat candidates act as if they are the present day incarnations of Sith Lords. Their power is more important than doing good for the country. And for those who have read David Brin’s essays on Star Wars on how anti-democratic Star Wars is, it’s especially delicious.

David Brin writes about the errors of Star Wars:

Just what bill of goods are we being sold, between the frames? Elites have an inherent right to arbitrary rule; common citizens needn’t be consulted. They may only choose which elite to follow.

“Good” elites should act on their subjective whims, without evidence, argument or accountability.
Any amount of sin can be forgiven if you are important enough.
True leaders are born. It’s genetic.
The right to rule is inherited. Justified human emotions can turn a good person evil.
That is just the beginning of a long list of moral lessons relentlessly pushed by Star Wars. (http://www.davidbrin.com/starwars1.html)

Sounds like the Democratic Party.

Robert

NaCly dog on May 3, 2008 at 12:44 PM

This is from drudge.

FRANK RICH: When will McCain’s preacher come home to roost?… Developing…

Be on the lookout for this Ed and Allah and hit it back ASAP so that you’re the first on memorandum.

ninjapirate on May 3, 2008 at 12:48 PM

Isn’t is obvious that she runs that household?

He’s totally whipped.

Mojave Mark on May 3, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Did you see the interview with Michelle Obama where she talked about their decision to marry? It was interesting. Michelle said that Obama didn’t want to get married; said he didn’t believe in it and felt that a piece of paper really wasn’t necessary to their relationship. Michelle said she told him it’s not gonna be that way, not with her; if he wants to be with her then he’s gonna have to marry her.
Guess who won that debate. I have the feeling that kind of thing happens a lot in the Obama household.

AZCoyote on May 3, 2008 at 12:52 PM

IF the MSM had vetted Barry O with the same zeal they stalk the people in McCains personal life, Obamalamadingdong would never have gotten this far.

southsideironworks on May 3, 2008 at 12:59 PM

It reinforced a feeling, simmering since the OJ case and even earlier, that there was a true cultural divide here and the “healing”, such as it is, should come from the more victim-obsessed sections of the African-American community itself. That is where most of the pathopsychology resides.

TexasJew on May 3, 2008 at 11:44 AM

Ironically, Obama’s impact on the elections will probably hurt the chances of future black candidates. I’m all for electing the best man for the job, regardless of color, but the black vote going overwhelmingly for Obama, despite his marxist, black militancy leanings, creates white voting blocs as a counterweight. His presence and the automatic black voter support have created deep divisions.

a capella on May 3, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Obama’s shock over Rev. Wright is similar to Jimmy Carter’s shock that the Soviet Union would lie to him and invade Afghanistan on Christmas Week in 1979. And Carter got angry there because in the wake of the Iranian hostage crisis that started on Nov. 4, the Soviet invasion threatened to hurt Carter in his primary election race against Ted Kennedy.

He didn’t open his eyes about the Soviets until election politics made it impossible not to open them. But Carter has shown he learned nothing from that incident exceptto look after No. 1 a little better. I doubt Obama has learned even that much right now, since he’s still allowing the Bill Ayers future time bomb to sit out there undefused.

jon1979 on May 3, 2008 at 2:12 PM

I think in a one to one debate vs McCain in the general, he’ll do very well, now that he’s had time to plot his course, and McCain shows no willingness to be aggressive against him. If no more surprises erupt demanding extemporaneous responses, the general could be a lot tougher than we think at present.

Obama has never been a general. In fact, he’s never held any state or national military rank.

unclesmrgol on May 3, 2008 at 2:53 PM

I think along with Victor Davis Hanson that race relations have been set back 50 years or more.

Whites are now fully exposed and informed about how Blacks feel: the US created AIDS to kill the Black Man, Rap was created by Whites to kill the Black Man, the US deserved 9/11, God Damn America, Louis Farrakhan a great man, Black and White Brains, rhythms, etc. Most of this stuff got applause at the NAACP. So most Whites figure, hey this is how Blacks feel.

Not only will there be a reaction, identity politics wise (if everyone else will practice not only Identity Politics but particularly ugly versions of same, Whites will also become tribal), but this reaction will last a long time.

I seriously doubt that there will be a Black President in the next fifty years. Perhaps longer. That is Obama’s legacy.

whiskey_199 on May 3, 2008 at 3:28 PM

If no more surprises erupt demanding extemporaneous responses, the general could be a lot tougher than we think at present.

a capella on May 3, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Six months is a long time but if McCain doesn’t do something to attract some more support, he’s going to lose and lose big. This is shaping up to be a 2006 redo. Instead of facing the very real probability of getting our *ss handed to us the GOP thinks watching the Democrats shamelessly pander and offer no other response then ridicule is enough to overcome them. How did work out last time?
McCain has to convince enough conservatives to support him, something he has yet to do, or he’s going down big and taking more congressional seats with him.

lowandslow on May 3, 2008 at 4:09 PM

“A man is known by the company he keeps.” Remember that ol’ aphorism? Or howsabout, “Birds of a feather flock together”? Then there’s St. Paul (quoting Menander), “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals,’” 1 Cor. 15:33.

Yes, another term for it is “guilt by association.” In this case, guilty of poor judgment.

/delicious

Akzed on May 3, 2008 at 4:23 PM

entagor on May 3, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Excellent post.

He’s totally whipped.

Mojave Mark on May 3, 2008 at 11:16 AM

I’ve been making this point for weeks now. I’m glad to see I wasn’t alone in seeing this.

TheCulturalist on May 3, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Obamalamadingdong…

southsideironworks on May 3, 2008 at 12:59 PM

hahahahhaha, first time i’ve seen that one. i like it.

TheCulturalist on May 3, 2008 at 4:39 PM

As the stealth candidate becomes visible he becomes vulnerable.

TooTall on May 3, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Kaaaahhhnnn!!!!

TheCulturalist on May 3, 2008 at 4:43 PM

entagor on May 3, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Excellent post.

TheCulturalist on May 3, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Indeed. Thank you entagor.

Entelechy on May 3, 2008 at 6:35 PM

Delicious!

Sir Napsalot on May 3, 2008 at 7:13 PM

When thinking about how Obama would do in debates against McCain, you have to keep in mind how easily he botched the capital gains issue. And let’s not forget his plan to hit rebel targets in Pakistan over and against the wishes of our allies there. He is a major rookie, and we have yet to begin to plumb the depths of his ignorance. I think McCain will be able to clean his clock in debates. I agree with lowandslow on May 3, 2008 at 4:09 PM, that we have yet to really see the effect of the McCain nomination on the unity of the GOP. Once the Dems stop tearing at each other’s flesh, will the GOP take up where they left off?

smellthecoffee on May 3, 2008 at 11:45 PM

Obama is going to have to throw a couple more under the bus including probably his wife! The ride on the Hope/Change Express has to be getting rather bumpy!

sabbott on May 4, 2008 at 7:22 AM

The problem Obama now faces is that his handling of the Wright issue has shown that he lacks both judgment and a backbone. I won’t bother to discuss the judgment part, but as to backbone, had he possessed one he would have thrown Wright away as soon as he became an issue.

No,no,no,no,no. It is not about judgement and backbone. It is about what he really believes. The people who surround him, support him and have got him where he is in his political career all have radical, and frankly ignorant, viewpoints. Making one speach to a questionable audience is a question of judgement. Spending your adult life after college in close relationships with these people clearly defines who and what barry is. Do not fall for the trap that it was a political mistake, a bad judgement, that had him sitting in that church for 20 years. When you fall for that then the msm is in a position to forgive him for a transgression and then bury it during the general. America needs to know that this guy does not think like an American.

peacenprosperity on May 4, 2008 at 7:57 AM

When it comes to immigration, the politicians need to realize illegals are not immigrants. They are illegal. All countries in the world have laws regarding immigration, and they are not negotiable. So in the United States, when did illegal immigration become a negotiable issue apart from law? And to what purpose do politicians, lawyers and judges forget that willfully coming into a country without documentation is a crime, not an “economic issue” to be dealt with as an afterthought? And lest they forget, once a law is in place there is a black and white definition as to what is correct and legal, not some judge’s opinion. The issue is not about how hard some “illegals” work. Illegals bankrupt our school systems, drive up the cost of medicine and constitute 26 percent of our jail population that we taxpayers have to pay for. Why should American taxpayers elect any politician who thinks our laws are selective? And why elect anyone to any office who thinks it is OK to use our hard-earned tax dollars for illegals who avoid paying state and municipal taxes but willfully come here illegally and also demand free medical and social services? What Democrats and the illegals both miss is the fact that if they wanted to become naturalized citizens, pay all their taxes — federal, state and municipal — and become assimilated into America, they would be welcomed. But so far all of the amnesty proposals by Congress ignore this. Amnesty also includes the criminals, drug dealers and gang members. And amnesty treats illegals better than legal immigrants or even American citizens. We Americans have a choice. We can say no to both amnesty and politicians who support it.

DfDeportation on May 4, 2008 at 8:03 PM