The Great Slip

McCain now leads Obama by 5 points in the polls. Rather than sweeping up the floor with McCain, Obama and McCain have remained close in the polls with McCain gradually closing the gap. This election is the Democrat’s to lose. An unpopular President, high gas prices, and a mortgage crisis should give an overwhelming advantage to a candidate who preaches change. So why has McCain been keeping up and now even surpassing Obama in the polls?

Obama has been a celebrity during this race, but as the graph below shows his numbers have been steadily declining, with many polls currently showing a deadlock between the two candidates. What has happened to the Obama who brought out crowds in the hundreds of thousands? Why aren’t people fainting at the sight of Obama anymore?

The longer the campaign goes on the more it hurts Obama. Gas prices continue to rise and now consumers are beginning to support more drilling because they realize that their survival trumps any reason for not drilling if it will provide relief from high prices; even if only temporarily. The war is not as strong a platform as it was a year ago because the surge that Obama was opposed to has worked as reported by the London Times. A new deal has also just occurred that would have American troops pulling out of cities next summer. His speech in Berlin was received well by the European’s, but not as well by the American electorate.

Obama’s performance in the saddleback forum has not helped him either. He never really answered at what time he felt life began, unlike McCain who answered right away without any hesitation or stuttering. Obama also almost criticized Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for a lack of experience, but caught himself. Had he claimed a lack of experience on the part of the Clarence Thomas then it would have likely raised questions in the minds of the electorate as to whether Obama, who has significantly less experience than Thomas, had enough experience to be President.

Obama is not able to run simply on the platitudes of hope and change anymore, now voters want details about the change. Obama was able to get away with saying a lot without saying anything for a while because of his charisma, his supporters, and a teleprompter, but now he has to step up and show that there is fire and not just smoke.

Once the electorate began to see Obama was nothing but a charismatic empty suit they began to turn away. If Obama does not fill the empty suit and reclaim the celebrity status he held that drew out hundreds of thousands of supporters, had people fainting, and brought in the young vote in record numbers then we may very well witness one of the greatest upsets in the race for the White House.



Filed under Democratic Party, Obama, Voter Demographics

3 responses to “The Great Slip

  1. Lance Thibert

    The problem with relying on national polls at this point in the game is that they are so fickle, swinging one way one day and another the next. Obama seems arrogant today? down 5 points. McCain doesn’t know how many houses he owns? thats gonna cost you about 4. CNN’s poll of polls has had the two tied for the better part of the month, and I think thats relatively accurate. Coming into October the national polls have indeed quite a bit of weight, but until then, I take them all with a grain of salt.

    However, you do point out some major weaknesses in the Obama campaign, the perception that he is an “empty suit” is a powerful one. If Obama wants to win, he indeed, has to fill it in the minds of voters.

    Offshore drilling is an issue the Republicans can make very good electoral profit off of, as it indeed as you pointed out, is popular with the electorate. However, the Democrats’ most feared weapon and worst enemy might ruin it for them. What might that be? Caving in, of course. Nancy Pelosi, one of the most ardent critics of offshore drilling has now stated that she isn’t “totally opposed” to it. This is a signal that the Democrats probably intend to take this issue off the table by saying that they don’t oppose it.

  2. Tony Robinson

    empty suit is a good way of putting it, as Lance says as well. The convention is Obama’s first real chance to capture the national imagination, as opposed to just the Democratic imagination. And then also, he needs to reignite even the Democratic imagination.

  3. Stephen Noriega

    You make a lot of very good points. I agree with his problems concerning the Surge in Iraq. I could argue why the Surge worked and it had nothing to do with McCain, but I know that public perception is on his side. Obama is a deliberate person, this can be good. It can also appear indecisive and evasive on issues. This is seen in his debates. I find it interesting that everyone thinks Obama will beat McCain in the debates when he has yet to have one excellent debate so far. We will see what shakes out after the ether of the conventions die down.

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