The L.A. Times poll released this week shows the potential Obama-McCain match-up as remarkably close, with McCain holding a slight edge 44%-42% (margin of error 3 points).
Blake Dvorak at Real Clear Politics:
That Mr. McCain puts up such a strong showing ought to worry Democrats, especially since the political atmospherics continue to favor their party this year. Even more worrisome, however, are the poll's internal findings, which show that although Mr. McCain is not necessarily conservatives' choice for president, he might be the best choice for Republicans.
He goes on to reveal the key issue breakdowns:
Those troubling signs for Democrats include the following: When it comes to independent voters, Mr. McCain more than holds his own with Mr. Obama (41% to 39%); on the question of who could best manage the economy, which a plurality of respondents consider the most important issue, Mr. McCain holds an eight-point lead (42% to 34%); on the question of leadership, Mr. McCain has a six-point lead; on illegal immigration, Mr. McCain has an 11-point lead (40% to 29%); on Iraq, Mr. McCain has a 13-point lead (47% to 34%); on protecting the country from terrorism, Mr. McCain has a 37-point lead (58% to 21%); and on the question of experience, Mr. McCain has a 31-point lead (53% to 22%).
There are some pretty big gaps there, but fortunately "who can best manage the economy" is close, and that's one we know counts for a lot in the minds of today's electorate, as does "health care" -- and on that issue Obama has a strong lead over McCain.
The poll's news isn't all bad for Mr. Obama. He beats his potential rival on health care (44% to 30%) and on the question of which candidate would change the way things are done in Washington (55% to 20%). The two candidates split evenly on the question of integrity and honesty -- not a bad result for Mr. McCain, considering he's a veteran politician who has haunted the corridors of power for more than two decades.
No doubt that good old campaign mud will sully up both candidates, and the one with the best teflon will win on the question of integrity and honesty, but the rich history of lies and deceit on the part of the lying Republicans has become a bright thread woven into the fabric of the American mindset today, and John McCain -- as the war candidate -- has to embrace and defend the march to war over oil that has not only divided our nation, but brought about the severe weakening of our economy as well.
The American Dream is slipping away after 7 long years of Republicans in the White House, and the more John McCain defends the war in Iraq the more voters will look elsewhere for change. It is still the Democrats' race to lose.
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