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Hullabaloo


Sunday, June 22, 2008

 
Coming Around

by digby


Here's some good news. I don't think polls this far out are particularly meaningful, but there is some information contained inside this one that should set people's minds at ease:

For weeks many political experts and pollsters have been wondering why the race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain had stayed so tight, even after the Illinois senator wrested the nomination from Hillary Clinton. With numbers consistently showing rock-bottom approval ratings for President Bush and a large majority of Americans unhappy with the country's direction, the opposing-party candidate should, in the normal course, have attracted more disaffected voters. Now it looks as if Obama is doing just that. A new NEWSWEEK Poll shows that he has a substantial double-digit lead, 51 percent to 36 percent, over McCain among registered voters nationwide.

[...]

Obama seems to have built his margin in part by picking up a key slice of Clinton's support, including women. Women voters in the new poll prefer him over McCain by 21 points (54 percent versus 33 percent). Defections to McCain by Hillary Clinton supporters are also down significantly since she dropped out of the race and endorsed the Obama. In the new poll, registered Democrats and Democratic leaners who supported Clinton during the primaries now favor Obama over McCain by 69 percent to 18 percent. In last month's survey, Clinton supporters backed the Illinois senator by a significantly smaller margin, 53 percent to 34 percent. Registered independents have also moved toward Obama, backing him by a 48 percent to 36 percent margin after splitting about evenly in last month's poll.


Despite all the sturm and drang of the primary, the two candidates were always pretty much the same on the issues, certainly in comparison to the dinosaur McCain. There wasn't any real argument on substance. Of course the party would rally.

The poll explores the fundamental drivers so far in this election and it's mostly attributable to a new party identification with Democrats that's pretty stunning:


Obama's current lead also reflects the large party-identification advantage the Democrats now enjoy—55 percent of all voters call themselves Democrats or say they lean toward the party while just 36 percent call themselves Republicans or lean that way. Even as McCain seeks to gain voters by distancing himself from the unpopular Bush and emphasizing his maverick image, he is suffering from the GOP's poor reputation among many voters.


The Republicans have dominated the discourse for so long that nobody wants to hear it anymore.


Raiseyertaxessurrendertoterroriststheywanttoturnyougay....oy.
It's like watching Alf reruns.

This poll by ABC/Washington Post purports to dissect the public's feelings on race in terms of Obama's candidacy. I read through the whole thing, feeling dismayed that so many people seemed to be admitting to racism, until I got near to the end and found that Obama's actually getting more support from whites than Kerry did. So, while it's a revolting position, it would appear that being a "Massachusetts liberal" is as repugnant as being African American to these people. (Lee Atwater, take a bow.)

Of course racism will be used in many subtle and not so subtle ways during the campaign. They always do it and this time they will find it impossible to resist. They don't really have anything else. But it doesn't seem to be biting any harder with a black candidate than it always does and that's good news electorally. (Culturally, it's still as revolting as ever.)

And anyway, there's more than one way to put together a coalition:

On average in the last two ABC/Post polls...Obama's been supported by 71 percent of Hispanics, roughly the share Clinton won in 1996, the best for a Democrat since Carter's 76 percent in 1976.


If the Democratic base turns out, and there's every reason to believe it will, then Obama's going to win whether white conservatives like it or not. And that's really good news.


.