Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 29, 2008
POLITICS: Obama Weak On The Issues

There's a growing school of thought among Republicans that even despite his massive fundraising machine, pop culture cache and messianic aura, Barack Obama may yet turn out to be a much weaker general election opponent than Hillary Clinton. Hillary is certain to be a competitive candidate, but has enormous built-in negatives; any election involving her is likely to be very closely divided. But Obama, while he seems to have a much higher ceiling, also faces a much more significant risk of getting completely Mondaled. And a new poll from Rasmussen helps explain why - even moreso than Hillary, Obama matches up terribly against McCain on which candidate is more trusted on a host of key issues. Here's the key findings in tabular form:

National Security5231
Obama's inability to crack 40% against McCain on the central issues of the day makes him look less like a transformational political figure and more like the incumbent president's 34% approval rating. Note that McCain matches up so well against Obama despite "generic ballot" questions showing that the Democrats as a whole are more trusted than Republicans on a number of these issues. (Note also that McCain unsurprisingly beats Hillary handily on the ethics question).

Is Obama actually the easier target? Maybe, maybe not; any one poll is just a snapshot, and it's a long way to November. But more and more Republicans are eager to find out.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:01 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Basically the proof is in the number and quantity of the attacks by Republicans. If they are going hard after Obama and comparatively leaving Hillary alone we know they fear him more. When that trend reverses I'll believe that they have changed their mind. And for all of her bump in recent polls and the "talk" amongst conservatives about not knowing which is preferable in the General, the proof on this site and others is in the guys are (for now) still fearing his upside more.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at April 29, 2008 5:59 PM

"quantity" should have been quality.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at April 29, 2008 6:00 PM

Public opinion is funny. I really don't know what in the hell McCain has to show for his so-called national security expertise. Being a war-monger doesn't count in my book. As for corruption/ethics, no one remembers that McCain was involved in the Keating Five scandal. And what, exactly, does McCain have going for him on Iraq?

Posted by: Steve at April 29, 2008 6:01 PM

On a slightly separate note, I could almost swear this Wright/Obama hullaballoo is pre-arranged. It's as if Wright has to go nuclear, Obama cuts the cord (since the first time around didn't take), they stage a feud, it's over and forgotten - and we're not even into summer. I'm not one for conspiracy theories myself, but if it's the case, I really gotta give BO points for political style.

Posted by: tsmonk at April 29, 2008 9:56 PM

I think it will depend on the type of campaign McCain runs. If he buys into this "most civil campaign of all time" nonsense, then he could easily lose to Obama. But if McCain realizes that civility (as the media and Obama understand the term) is overrated, has never existed in politics, and only blurs the bigs differences between the two, and runs a tough campaign, then he landslides Obama.

Posted by: alex at April 30, 2008 8:50 AM

Obama has already said he'll raise taxes even if that'll cut total receipts. That's just dumb but it's music to the ears of his supporters.

It's the same with Iraq: He's already said he'll pull us out regardless of what his generals recommend. I'm not sure voters believe Iraq policy ought to be made on the basis of what excites a bunch of moonbats who have wanted us to lose from Day One.

And anybody who thinks they know who the GOP would rather face is I think just guessing. McCain can win Hillary's supporters over easier than Obama's, but they're both such ludicrous candidates and the primaries have punched such huge holes in each of them that it's really getting hard to choose.

Maybe it'll get easier the closer we get to the inevitable convention meltdown!

Posted by: spongeworthy at April 30, 2008 10:34 AM

The real "moonbats" are the guys who dragged us into war in the first instance.

Posted by: steve at April 30, 2008 12:27 PM

McCain has had a free ride for three months. If everyone thinks he's so much better on these issues, how come Obama and Clinton both beat him in national poll?

McCain has said many, many irresponsible things while haivng one of his temper tantrums. His wife is a drug addict who stole to support her habit. Once the voters finally drive a stake through Clinton's heart, it will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Posted by: Magrooder at April 30, 2008 10:14 PM
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