Pew: McCain pulls into a draw

posted at 2:40 pm on August 13, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama has seen his support erode over the last two months, and what had been a comfortable lead has disappeared into a virtual tie.  John McCain has begun to rally reluctant Republicans and has made inroads among working-class voters.  The biggest factor, according to Pew Research?  Leadership:

With less than two weeks to go before the start of the presidential nominating conventions, Barack Obama’s lead over John McCain has disappeared. Pew’s latest survey finds 46% of registered voters saying they favor or lean to the putative Democratic candidate, while 43% back his likely Republican rival. In late June, Obama held a comfortable 48%-to-40% margin over McCain, which narrowed in mid-July to 47% to 42%.

Two factors appear to be at play in shifting voter sentiment. First, McCain is garnering more support from his base – including Republicans and white evangelical Protestants – than he was in June, and he also has steadily gained backing from white working class voters over this period. Secondly and more generally, the Arizona senator has made gains on his leadership image. An even greater percentage of voters than in June now see McCain as the candidate who would use the best judgment in a crisis, and an increasing percentage see him as the candidate who can get things done.

And how has Obama fared? Poorly:

Conversely, Obama has made little progress in increasing his support among core Democrats since June – currently 83% favor him compared with 87% of Republicans who back McCain. The likely Democratic nominee is still getting relatively modest support from Hillary Clinton’s former supporters: 72% of them support Obama, compared with the 88% support level that McCain receives from backers of his formal GOP rivals. Obama’s strong points with voters are in being seen as the candidate with new ideas and as someone who connects well with ordinary people.

Pew found that a nine-point edge for McCain on crisis leadership in June has increased to 15 points in August. The polling period included the first couple of days in the Caucasus conflict, but the fallout from that would almost certainly come afterward. McCain’s experience and years of accurate analysis on Russian intentions got more play on Monday of this week, the day after the polling ended.

McCain made gains in two other areas as well.  Obama’s conceit of independence has failed to resonate with voters; McCain now leads on “willing to take unpopular stands” by 11 points, as opposed to three in June.  He erased an Obama lead on the ability to accomplish things, going from a six-point deficit to a two-point lead.  Obama leads on passion, however, with 27% of his 46% strongly supporting him (which is down a point) to only 17% of McCain’s 43% in strong support.  McCain went up three points in this category since June, though.

McCain still has a significant gap among women, which went down only a point in two months.  However, McCain has taken the lead among men from Obama, who led 45-44 in June and now trails 49-41.  Oddly, McCain picked up two points among black voters, but picked up most of his gains among working- and middle-class voters, and those voters with high-school education or less.

With two weeks before the convention, Obama needs a momentum reversal, and he needs it quickly.


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McCain will become POTUS, and Hussein will become POFHL (President of Fairy Happy Land), and things will be just as they should.

Akzed on August 13, 2008 at 2:44 PM

Let’s hope it keeps going.

Oddly, McCain picked up two points among black voters, but picked up most of his gains among working- and middle-class voters, and those voters with high-school education or less.

Maybe the tax issue is starting to resonate with these voters. The Messiah has a bunch of promises, but someone has to pay for them. No one gets out of taxes from the Anointed One.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2008 at 2:46 PM

Obama is going to pick somebody like Bayh to be his running mate and I just do not see how that helps him.

If McCain picks somebody unlike McCain for his VP he should win easily.

EJDolbow on August 13, 2008 at 2:48 PM

The chickens….are coming home….to roost!

Buford Gooch on August 13, 2008 at 2:48 PM

If McCain pulls it off, it will be fun to watch the left pile on his taking a nine day vacation in the middle of August.

rw on August 13, 2008 at 2:49 PM

Look, you all KNOW I can’t stand the “Messiah”, Obama (PBUH); but Gallup still has him up 6 today, and over at Rassmussen, the Messiah is still up 2; so McCain still has some work to do, and I don’t get to excited about things like the PEW poll as a result…

Dale in Atlanta on August 13, 2008 at 2:50 PM

McCain will win. Landslide style. Money in the bank.
(Hmmm…Unless Hillary is the nominee after Denver…)

Swinehound on August 13, 2008 at 2:51 PM

problem is McCain isn’t gaining points, just Obama is losing points. They are going from Obama to Undecideded or third party? and not from Obama to mcCain this much

jp on August 13, 2008 at 2:53 PM

[Akzed on August 13, 2008 at 2:44 PM]

Double Ditto.

It’s too late for the Dems, aided and abetted by their journalists moles in the Media, to exit the 2008 quagmire they’ve created for themselves, but the convention is still two weeks away, so there is still plenty of time to decide to add 2,000 super-super delegates to their primary process in an attempt to keep this upcoming devastating loss from happening again in 2012.

Dusty on August 13, 2008 at 2:56 PM

I still think we have to be careful of a Torricelli-Lautenberg switcharoo in play. They could “decide” that Hillary is better suited to run against McCain (like the way Messiah “decided” not to take public financing) which would energize the lefty base. It gives them an advantage among women. No need to worry about race voters because the Democrats still hold the bag on racial issues.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2008 at 2:58 PM

An even greater percentage of voters than in June now see McCain as the candidate who would use the best judgment in a crisis,

The recent hash Obama made of his responses to this crisis can’t help but drive this point home.

The crisis also helps to remind people that we still live in a dangerous world.

Both of these will help McCain.

MarkTheGreat on August 13, 2008 at 3:00 PM

problem is McCain isn’t gaining points, just Obama is losing points. They are going from Obama to Undecideded or third party? and not from Obama to mcCain this much

jp on August 13, 2008 at 2:53 PM

.
What it says to me is that turnout will be down from 2004, but that McCain will get the thinking peoples’ vote. With all the idiocy coming from the messiah and his flock over the past couple of weeks, I can no longer see Obama maintaining the charade through the first week of November.

Think_b4_speaking on August 13, 2008 at 3:01 PM

McCain can’t win this, but YObama can lose it.

Barry can get 100% of the black vote. 100% of the kooky lib vote but unless he can break 40% of the white vote McCain will end up POTUS.

Alden Pyle on August 13, 2008 at 3:01 PM

The chickens….are coming home….to roost!

Most chickens are white, so this is a racist statement.

MarkTheGreat on August 13, 2008 at 3:02 PM

[Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2008 at 2:58 PM]

That’s a legitimate concern. Do you think it the fact Hillary’s campaign is cocoon’d, in the red by, what, $15M, and the Dems are maybe a little tapped out since Obama has sucked a lot of it up, might be too many hurdles to overcome?

Dusty on August 13, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Tortoise vs. Hare

Brat on August 13, 2008 at 3:05 PM

The Edwards CF, the Hillary-in-hiding, Georgia foremost, all the triple-reversals have punctured the halo, numerously. It’s deflating slowly.

I wish he’d stay even, or a bit ahead of McCain, clear into Nov. 04.

Bringing Michell O. our from rehabilitation will puncture more. My grandma always said “the wolf will lose all his hairs, but one. That one, bad one, will always be there”.

Entelechy on August 13, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Doesn’t matter, unless McCain can pull those large delegate states like Michigan and Ohio.

robblefarian on August 13, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Michelle O, and “out from” – note to self, preview button at HA does work…

Entelechy on August 13, 2008 at 3:07 PM

I still think we have to be careful of a Torricelli-Lautenberg switcharoo in play. They could “decide” that Hillary is better suited to run against McCain (like the way Messiah “decided” not to take public financing) which would energize the lefty base. It gives them an advantage among women. No need to worry about race voters because the Democrats still hold the bag on racial issues.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2008 at 2:58 PM

.
I disagree with your last sentence. If the dems threw Barry overboard for Herself, IMO the black vote would not only disappear in 2008, but maybe for several election seasons. You might even see riots.

Think_b4_speaking on August 13, 2008 at 3:07 PM

As summer fades into fall and the American people face the realization that there could be an inexperienced and unqualified far left liberal in the White House very soon, they will abandon Obama to the point that he will lose by 10 points.

And then the left can do what they truly enjoy most, which is to feel sorry for themselves.

It will be a win-win for the country.

NoDonkey on August 13, 2008 at 3:08 PM

When the race card has been played, and boy has it been played in this race, the Bradley Effect comes into play. Squishy voters (as in no strong party affiliation) may be afraid to admit in public they are not voting for the minority candidate.

Some of the other misleading factors that may be going on involved some of the dirty tricks the Dems used in order to win in some of the 2006 elections–such as macaca, getting a judge to exclude the Republican candidate from the ballot, and other such measures. This may show a Democrat trend in places where it does not, in fact, exist.

The people reading the tea leaves also seem to be looking at Democrat versus Republican registrations, and forgetting both about Operation Chaos, and how long and hard the Democrat primary was fought. Not only were the ranks of registered Dems filled out by Republicans, but also by Democrat general election voters who normally don’t participate in primaries. Many of these new Dems are either votes the Dems will never have (Chaos) or votes they have always had (states with later primaries).

Sekhmet on August 13, 2008 at 3:10 PM

Peak Obama!

pseudonominus on August 13, 2008 at 3:10 PM

Draw?

RCP has Obama up by an average of 4.6%, with no poll having McCain ahead. Obama is ahead, per RCP’s collection of polls by 2, 3, 5, 6, 6 and 6. Take a look at the graph too.

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Pew: McCain pulls into a draw

I was prepared to be really pleased. If Pew’s next poll shows a spread of 0%, are you going to use the same headline?

Kralizec on August 13, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Doesn’t matter, unless McCain can pull those large delegate states like Michigan and Ohio.

robblefarian on August 13, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Michigan, according to RCP, is leaning Obama, but not outside the statistical margin of error. Ohio is even closer.

Sekhmet on August 13, 2008 at 3:15 PM

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 3:13 PM

If Ed said it, check it.

Kralizec on August 13, 2008 at 3:17 PM

Wasn’t it just last week or so ago that Gallup (which now has Obama up by 6) was the “go to” pool? Now it’s PEW?

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 3:18 PM

pool poll

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 3:18 PM

If Ed said it, check it.

Kralizec on August 13, 2008 at 3:17 PM

I go mainly by RCP averages rather than pick-and-choose by individual poll.

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 3:20 PM

I was prepared to be really pleased. If Pew’s next poll shows a spread of 0%, are you going to use the same headline?

Kralizec on August 13, 2008 at 3:14 PM

lol. Maybe, “McCain heading for historic landslide win!”.

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 3:21 PM

John McCainBarack Obama and Vladimir Putin hashave begun to rally reluctant Republicans

There, fixed it for you. Which means I’m voting for McCain so long as he doesn’t say anything bone headed to put me back in the undecided camp again.

Tho that would be an awful lot of bone head, and I’m not sure anyone not Jimmah Cartah can get her done.

I R A Darth Aggie on August 13, 2008 at 3:22 PM

McCain will win. Landslide style. Money in the bank.
(Hmmm…Unless Hillary is the nominee after Denver…)

Swinehound on August 13, 2008 at 2:51 PM

I’ve had that thought for a while now, Swinehound. The odds of a McCain landslide are much higher than for Obama, but if we’re talking about “chickens coming home to roost”, you have to follow with “don’t count your eggs before they’re hatched”.

Scott P on August 13, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Again, look at the RCP (collection of all polls) GRAPH

It’s the plane graph boss, it’s the plane graph!

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 3:29 PM

Each and every one of us had better drag 10 friends to vote. Oh, your sick? Get your ass to the polls. Tired? Get your ass to the polls. Cripled? Get your ass to the polls.

marklmail on August 13, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Think_b4_speaking on August 13, 2008 at 3:07 PM

The Dhims still hold the racial demographic. If they switched (Her Thighness for The Messiah), the Clenis would be dragged all over the country. The Clintons’ would up the populistic rhetoric a bajillion-fold while hearkening back to the good ol’ days of the First Black President. Demonize Bush. Tell them they had it sooooooooo much better when Clenis was running the show. And then end with “Will you help us to return to those days?”

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2008 at 3:39 PM

When the race card has been played, and boy has it been played in this race, the Bradley Effect comes into play. Squishy voters (as in no strong party affiliation) may be afraid to admit in public they are not voting for the minority candidate.
Sekhmet on August 13, 2008 at 3:10 PM

You are so right. And I really despise the race card.

wise_man on August 13, 2008 at 3:40 PM

With two weeks before the convention, Obama needs a momentum reversal, and he needs it quickly.

What is he going to do? There is nothing left in his bag of tricks. He might give another stirring speech full of empty rhetoric at Invesco field, but I think it will just be more fodder for mockery at this point.

tommylotto on August 13, 2008 at 3:50 PM

Isn’t it interesting that a majority of those that support Obama say that they are concerned about his abilities/experience? It seems that if this is a chief concern among his voters, some of them may pull the lever for McCain if they truly feel that Obama may not yet have the experience to run our country.

jtorres138 on August 13, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Are there people who really change their minds every day? These polls are torture.

mymanpotsandpans on August 13, 2008 at 4:02 PM

The polls suck, the polls suck, the polls suck………except when the polls agree with me, then…the polls are awsome, the polls are awesome, the polls are awesome….

Grow Fins on August 13, 2008 at 4:03 PM

143 days.

Angry Dumbo on August 13, 2008 at 4:08 PM

Don’t rejoice yet…once McCain grants amnesty to 20 million illegals, the dye will be cast for the great American tribulation.

cheaters cheating to vote themselves more spoils from foolish fools who don’t wake up till it’s too late.

That’s the sweet McCain plan.

saiga on August 13, 2008 at 4:18 PM

With two weeks before the convention, Obama needs a momentum reversal, and he needs it quickly.
What is he going to do? There is nothing left in his bag of tricks. He might give another stirring speech full of empty rhetoric at Invesco field, but I think it will just be more fodder for mockery at this point.tommylotto on August 13, 2008 at 3:50 PM

Exactly. The BH&O railroad is coming off the tracks.

Mojave Mark on August 13, 2008 at 4:30 PM

Are there people who really change their minds every day? These polls are torture.

mymanpotsandpans on August 13, 2008 at 4:02 PM

Well, let’s give em the benefit of the doubt myman and assume that it’s a different lot that changes it’s mind from one day to the next. A kind of mind-change relay if you like.

Aylios on August 13, 2008 at 4:31 PM

Wasn’t it just last week or so ago that Gallup (which now has Obama up by 6) was the “go to” pool? Now it’s PEW?

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 3:18 PM

I asked all my Republican friends who theyre voting for and they said McCain. Im sticking to that poll until its proven wrong.

Chuck Schick on August 13, 2008 at 4:37 PM

The black vote is not monolithic that is what the Mainstream Media likes to sell there are conservative people of all different kinds of ethnicities. They are “Traditional” below rappin about McCain “Use your brain, Vote for McCain” first song on the player.

http://www.myspace.com/hicaliber

Dr Evil on August 13, 2008 at 4:51 PM

Kristol: Colin Powell to Endorse Barack Obama

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2008 at 5:04 PM

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2008 at 5:04 PM

Of the many things Obama is completely unqualified for, it’s Commander in Chief. Unless Obama is going to bring on Powell as VP, senior cabinet or make him in charge of the US’s foreign policy and military … I personally don’t see how he could do this. But maybe my opinion on this is completely wrong, and Powell is right. Another explanation is that Obama will be a good Commander in Chief. And I just don’t see it. At all.

wise_man on August 13, 2008 at 5:14 PM

I am surprised that only 27% of the Obama’s supporters fall into the strongly support category. A lot of those people are cultish. That is part of what creeps me out about Obama.

Terrye on August 13, 2008 at 5:24 PM

LMAO…The current Pres polls, have driven the MSNBC Oblahblah leg humpers (Olbermann, Matthews, Schuster) into foaming at the mouths barking dogs. It’s going to get worse for Oblahblah, before better!

byteshredder on August 13, 2008 at 8:41 PM