Sunday, August 17, 2008

"No really... what gives?"

As for Barack Obama, it seems more polls equates to more bad news. Once again serving up the latest hot electoral mess are Gallup and Rasmussen, among others. As we have seen previously, both Gallup and Rasmussen call the presidential race a statistical dead heat. But the real news is that Gallup now quantifies what both Democrats and Republicans have long suspected.

In a separate analysis, Gallup confirms John McCain's "significant advantage" over Obama with white males, with McCain beating Obama 55 percent to 35 percent. Among white women, the two candidates tied at 44 percent.

Democratic presidential candidates have generally done less well among white men than among white women in recent elections. But the gap between the two genders among whites is significantly larger this year than it was in 2004. In Gallup's final poll of registered voters in late October 2004, Kerry trailed Bush by 9 points among non-Hispanic white women and by 16 points among non-Hispanic white men. That produced a 7-point gender gap, about one-third the size of this year's 20-point gap.
Gallup goes on to point out that Obama's deficits among white males are more than offset by his gains (relative to John Kerry in 2004) among Caucasian females. Nevertheless, Obama's various plusses and minuses still yield a result that has him dead even with his underfunded and out-organized challenger.

So again, what gives? Maybe it has something to do with a published report from the New York Times to the effect that Barack Obama has
"yet to convert his popularity among many Americans into solutions to crucial electoral challenges."

Mr. Obama has run for the last 18 months as the candidate of hope. Yet party leaders — while enthusiastic about Mr. Obama and his state-by-state campaign operations — say he must do more to convince the many undecided Democrats and independents that he would address their financial anxieties rather than run, by and large, as an agent of change — given that change, they note, is not an issue.

"I particularly hope he strengthens his economic message — even Senator Obama can speak more clearly and specifically about the kitchen-table, bread-and-butter issues like high energy costs" said Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio. "It's fine to tell people about hope and change, but you have to have plenty of concrete, pragmatic ideas that bring hope and change to life."

Or, in the blunter words of Gov. Phil Bredesen, Democrat of Tennessee: "Instead of giving big speeches at big stadiums, he needs to give straight-up 10-word answers to people at Wal-Mart about how he would improve their lives."

But how can he? The Democrats who propelled Obama's candidacy through the primaries did not choose him because he had "straight-up 10-word answers" to anything; to be sure, he's never met a teleprompter-abetted stemwinder he didn't like. Moreover, in a world beset by complexity, his catalog of relevant experiences and accomplishments reads like something out of a "Dick and Jane" primer. And you can rest assured that even the voters who haven't been paying attention understand as much.

Four More Years!!

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