Hillary: You want him on that phone! You need him on that phone!

Rasmussen calls a Code Red (Phone) on the Hillary Clinton “3 AM” ad:

Before Hillary Clinton was declared the winner in Texas, most American voters had read, seen, or heard about her 3:00 a.m. telephone commercial. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 43% had seen at least part of the commercial which was played incessantly on news networks and other outlets for days. Another 16% had heard something about it and the overwhelming majority (81%) correctly identified Hillary Clinton as the candidate whose campaign ran the commercial (see the commercial).

The commercial was credited as one factor enabling Clinton to turn her campaign around in Texas last week. But, 42% of all voters said the person they’d most want to answer the phone was John McCain. Among all voters, 25% picked Clinton and another 25% named Obama as the person they’d want in the White House when a foreign policy crisis call arrived. …

Among unaffiliated voters, 39% said McCain would be their top choice to handle such a crisis. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of unaffiliateds said they thought Obama was the best to handle the call while 18% named Clinton.

Oops. Looks like this one backfired on Hillary in the long run. Pundits gave credit for her win in Texas to the “3 AM” ad, but its beneficial effects for Hillary have been short-lived. She only has a nine-point advantage among Democrats on the phone-call-in-the-middle-of-the-night question, but she has put both herself and Barack Obama at a serious disadvantage with regards to John McCain. The question appears to have awakened the electorate to the fact that Presidents do more than talk about hope, change, and handshaking.

The crosstabs are absolutely hilarious. John McCain beats both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama among women, but he creams them among men — 51% for McCain, 19% for Hillary, and 21% for Obama. He wins in every age category except 18-29 year olds, and tops both in unaffiliated voters and self-described moderates, which both Democrats need. It’s as if Hillary decided to start campaigning for John McCain.

The best part? John McCain didn’t have to lift a finger to make this the centerpiece of the presidential campaign. He’s ready to exploit it, though, with a new campaign ad:

Churchill, TR, and John McCain all say the same thing: Never surrender. Strength and commitment. It’s the natural sequel to “3 AM”, and the McCain campaign would love nothing more than to gin up contributions on Hillary’s effort.