Obama was ahead 47%-44% among registered voters, down from a 6-percentage point lead he had last month. McCain led 49%-45% among likely voters, reversing a 5-point Obama lead among that group. In both cases, the margin of error is +/—4 points.
What’s going on? Here is how USA Today explains the methodology behind their polling.
To determine whether they were likely voters, poll participants were asked how much thought they had given the election, how often they voted in the past and whether they plan to vote this fall. McCain’s gains came because there was an even number of likely voters from each party. Last month, the Democrats had an 11-point edge. (emphasis added)
Now, there are two ways to look at that astonishing fact. One is that Republicans are starting to energize against Barack Obama. This is, of course, the way that USA Today interprets it.
The other is that Democrats are losing interest in Barack Obama and are planning on either voting down-ticket, staying home, or using the nuclear option (literally?) by voting for John McCain. This is the way I interpret it. I mean, gee whiz, doesn’t that huge drop in support for Obama (11 points in one month) coincide quite interestingly with the formation of a certain group comprised of Democrats who don’t support Obama? Golly, if only I could remember the name of that combine of crazy old ladies…
Never mind, it’ll come to me. Meanwhile, let’s read more of USA Today’s interpretation of Obama’s hemorrhaging of support within his own Party.
Nearly two months after the Democrats’ pitched primary battle ended, more Republicans than Democrats say they are “giving quite a lot of thought” to the election. Backlash to Obama’s trip, fueled by McCain’s criticism, also boosts GOP engagement. Six in 10 Republicans said news media coverage of Obama’s trip was “unfairly positive.”
Aha! Only NOW are Republicans giving “quite a lot of thought” to the election! Before now, they weren’t paying any attention whatsoever. And what a surprise – Republicans think the media favors Democrats. Oooooh. Shocker!
Has USA Today ever spoken to Republicans before? Newsflash: They always pay attention to Presidential elections; and they’ve been flogging the “liberal media” canard for decades. (In this case, it happens to be true that the media is pushing Obama, but that matters not. They would have said the same thing regardless.)
Sorry, darlings, it’s not about the Republicans. It’s about the Democrats and their desire to remake the Democratic Party without the Clintons. Bill and Hillary, what with their success and popularity and intelligence, really must make those liberal elitist Party Leaders feel as weak and inadequate as all get-out. What other reason could there be for this bizarre election strategy?
It’s certainly not some quest for ideological purity. That notion is laughable. Obama’s disgraceful vote for telecom/BushCheney immunity (otherwise known as the FISA bill) showed that he is nothing but a tool of the big corporations, especially AT&T, which has now been kind enough to sponsor the Democratic Convention. Good thing too, because I don’t know how they were going to pay for it otherwise! (What? I’m sure there was no quid pro quo there whatsoever.)
A painfully ironic twist to this whole mess is that “evil corporate whore Hillary” voted AGAINST immunity. It didn’t surprise those of us who actually know her record of keeping her promises, but it sure showed a lot of Obama supporters that the Senator from Illinois is “not the man they thought they knew.”
And that is the weakness of Obama as a candidate. No one knows what he’s going to do, and when he does do something, the base doesn’t like it. As reflected in the USA Today story, that trip to Europe and Iraq didn’t do him any favors here in America, where we actually vote and stuff. (Only 35% saw Senator Obama’s “Look at Me, I’m Presidenting!” trip in a positive light.)
This is a major gamble by the Democrats. Can they win without Clinton’s voters, who tend to have a long history of voting Democratic, as well as volunteering for, and donating to, Democratic candidates? Can they create enough LV’s to counteract the loss of RV’s, many of whom have become PUMAs in protest of this strategy?
In my opinion, their proposition is a losing one. If the Democrats want to win in November, they will have to get over their childish, vindictive hatred of Bill and Hillary Clinton and nominate Hillary at the Convention.
The alternative? Well, Nancy, Harry, Howard and Donna, what happens when you give a party and nobody comes?
Cross-posted at The Confluence