It would appear that going negative isn’t “the way to go” these days. It isn’t what voters want to hear. McBush and Failin’ have been warning the electorate of Senator Obama’s “radical” associations for weeks now. But the scare tactics aren’t working.
All we’re left to ask is — why?
Because, Senator McCain, Americans are already scared. They’re frightened and looking for answers — and they’re not looking for them in the form of attack ads or aggressive stump speeches. They want to hear about the issues. They want to know how you’re going to lower the price of gas. They want to know how you plan to seek alternative sources energy. They want to know when they’ll be able to afford health insurance, or how they can avoid losing it. They want to know where the jobs are, why their jobs are moving overseas. Fortunately Senator Obama has some ideas on that, and he’s talking about the issues voters care about most.
But McCain knows he’s behind in the polls, and he’s fighting back — in entirely the wrong way. He’s pulled the terrorist card, attempting to impugn Obama’s character and judgment by referencing a tenuous link to William Ayers, a founder of the domestic terrorist group Weather Underground. And the voters? Well. They don’t like it.
The McCain campaign’s recent angry tone and sharply personal attacks on Senator Barack Obama appear to have backfired and tarnished Senator John McCain more than their intended target, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll has found.
After several weeks in which the McCain campaign unleashed a series of strong political attacks on Mr. Obama, trying to tie him to a former 1960s radical, among other things, the poll found that more voters see Mr. McCain as waging a negative campaign than Mr. Obama. Six in 10 voters surveyed said that Mr. McCain had spent more time attacking Mr. Obama than explaining what he would do as president; by about the same number, voters said Mr. Obama was spending more of his time explaining than attacking.
Over all, the poll found that if the election were held today, 53 percent of those determined to be probable voters said they would vote for Mr. Obama and 39 percent said they would vote for Mr. McCain.
By increasing numbers, Independents are falling into the Obama camp. Senator Obama is also pulling more white voters than any Democrat in recent elections.
The poll found that Mr. Obama is now supported by majorities of men and independents, two groups that he has been fighting to win over. And the poll found, for the first time, that white voters are just about evenly divided between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama, who, if elected, would be the first black president. The poll found that Mr. Obama is supported by 45 percent of white voters – a greater percentage than has voted for Democrats in recent presidential elections, according to exit polls.
Mr. McCain was viewed unfavorably by 41 percent of voters, and favorably by 36 percent. Ms. Palin’s favorability rating is now 32 percent, down 8 points from last month, and her unfavorable rating climbed nine percentage points to 41 percent. Mr. Obama’s favorability rating, by contrast, is now at 50 percent, the highest recorded for him thus far by The Times and CBS News.
That’s right, despite all the attacks, Barack Obama’s favorability rating has never been higher.
Voters who said their opinions of Mr. Obama had changed recently were twice as likely to say they had grown more favorable as to say they had worsened. And voters who said that their views of Mr. McCain had changed were three times more likely to say that they had worsened than to say they had improved.
The top reasons cited by those who said they thought less of Mr. McCain were his recent attacks and his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate. (The vast majority said their opinions of Mr. Obama of Illinois, the Democratic nominee, and Mr. McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, had remained unchanged in recent weeks.) But in recent days, Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin have scaled back their attacks on Mr. Obama, although Mr. McCain suggested he might aggressively take on Mr. Obama in Wednesday’s debate.
The final debate is tonight. It’s Obama’s to lose — and he won’t. It’s McCain’s last chance to impress the undecideds. His last chance to make a favorable impression alongside Senator Obama. So what does he plan to do? Apparently, he’s promising the nation yet another pitiful circus:
In an interview on a St. Louis radio station, McCain said Obama’s comments that “I didn’t have the guts” to talk about William Ayers in the last presidential debate have “probably ensured” that the former 1960s radical will come up in Wednesday’s debate.
That’s right — whenever you don’t succeed, fail, fail again. Let’s all hope he brings it up. Let’s hope he makes a scene. Let’s hope he ignores the issues and instead focuses on the sideshow. McCain knows it’s almost over, and tonight we’ll see whether he can curb his obsessive inclination to rant and rave about trivialities which anger rather than reassure anxious Americans.
It’s coming down to the wire now, and this nation is going to hang John McCain out to dry.