Conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, three days after Maliki’s Spiegel interview dropped, with the same percentage of Democrats sampled as in their last poll (42%) and actually fewer Republicans this time than last (33% versus 35%). Head to head: Obama 41, McCain 40. On handling Iraq: McCain 47, Obama 39, a two-point gain since June. Maybe Obama’s position on the surge is starting to penetrate? There’s circumstantial evidence in the crosstabs. A quarter of independents and 15% of Democrats perceive “major improvements” in Iraq from the surge; many more see “minor improvements.” The fact that Obama’s popular with Europeans likewise is a wash. Democrats see it as positive, Republicans negative, and indies are split 26/25 — although people calling themselves “independents” these days are apt to include more disaffected Republicans so weigh that accordingly.
Here’s maybe my favorite question and answer in any poll thus far. He stands for Change, but what Change, exactly, Americans have no idea:
And here’s the requisite reminder that the nutroots, convinced as they are that the media is criminally soft on McCain, occupy their own little unreality-based sphere even within the Democratic Party:
It’s not all good news for McCain. His favorables are down since last time, doubtless due to Democrats reacting to his attacks on Obama and discovering that he’s not quite as maverick-y as they thought he was. But note this:
Most of that’s due, I’m sure, to Obama being an unknown quantity — but not all of it is. Embarrassing:
The GOP number’s the eye-popper but the seven percent of indies are more worrisome for him, I’m sure.
Three-point jump for drilling in ANWR since last month too, incidentally. Among independents: 59/36.
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