Friday, July 11, 2008

Poll Shows Obama’s Image Damaged as Arbiter of New Politics

The latest Newsweek poll shows Barack Obama already paying a price for his lunges to the Right in recent weeks. Obama now leads McCain by only 3 points, 44 percent to 41 percent. In last month’s Newsweek poll, Obama led McCain by 15 points, 51 percent to 36 percent.

Newsweek’s Jonathon Darman reports:

“Obama's reversal on FISA legislation, his support of faith-based initiatives and his decision to opt out of the campaign public-financing system left him open to charges he was a flip-flopper. In the new poll, 53 percent of voters (and 50 percent of former Hillary Clinton supporters) believe that Obama has changed his position on key issues in order to gain political advantage.

“More seriously, some Obama supporters worry that the spectacle of their candidate eagerly embracing his old rival, Hillary Clinton, and traveling the country courting big donors at lavish fund-raisers, may have done lasting damage to his image as an arbiter of a new kind of politics. This is a major concern since Obama's outsider credentials, have, in the past, played a large part in his appeal to moderate, swing voters. In the new poll, McCain leads Obama among independents 41 percent to 34 percent, with 25 percent favoring neither candidate. In June's NEWSWEEK Poll, Obama bested McCain among independent voters, 48 percent to 36 percent.”

The Newsweek poll shows Obama and McCain with nearly identical favorable and unfavorable ratings of respectively 56 to 32 and 55 to 32.

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