Saturday, May 03, 2008

Obama, Wright & polls: unanswered questions

Since I started blogging three years ago, I’ve said Michael Barone is one of the best election analysts out there. Here he is today at

Is the bottom falling out for Barack Obama? It's too early to say that, but there are some disturbing signs.

On the positive side, superdelegates still are breaking his way. Rep. Baron Hill, whose southern Indiana district almost certainly will vote for Hillary Clinton, came out for Obama. So did fellow Hoosier Joe Andrew, who previously endorsed Clinton and who was named Democratic national chairman by Bill Clinton in the 1990s. (James Carville may have another name for him.)

Obama is still well ahead among delegates chosen in primaries and caucuses, and he is not very far behind in superdelegates, either.

But what about the voters?

Here there are some ominous signs. The latest Fox News poll, conducted after the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's appearance at the National Press Club, showed Obama's favorable/unfavorables at 63 to 27 percent among Democrats, compared to Hillary Clinton's 73 to 22 percent. Suddenly she's not the only one with high negatives.

And 36 percent of Democrats say they would be disinclined to vote for Obama because of his longtime relationship with his former pastor.

There's more bad news in The Pew Research Center poll of Democrats. Obama's national lead among Democrats is down from 49 to 39 percent to a statistically insignificant 47 to 45 percent.

These results are not outliers.

The Rasmussen tracking poll showed Obama leading Clinton 49 to 41 percent before Wright spoke to the National Press Club. Afterward the numbers were 46 to 44 percent in favor of Clinton.

The Gallup Poll had Obama leading Clinton 50 to 41 percent the night before the Pennsylvania primary. The results reported May 1 were Clinton 49 percent, Obama 45 percent.

Obama's standing as a general election candidate also seems to have taken a hit. …
The rest of Barone’s analysis is here.


Folks, when I looked at these polls results, I thought about three questions pollsters may be asking and may even have reported on, but which I’ve not seen reported on anywhere. Yet I think they're on people’s mind and are very important.

1) - - - Has Sen. Obama explained to your satisfaction how he could be a member of Rev. Wright’s church for 20 years, develop a close friendship with him, ask him to officiate at his wedding, and bring his children to Wright’s church for religious instruction, and not know Wright's been saying for years what he said at the National Press Club, including that America’s government deliberately spread the HIV/AIDs virus?

2) - - - Do you think asking Question #1 above is a sign the person asking it is racist, or at least influenced by racist considerations?

3) - - - Do you believe Sen. Obama is a “post-racial” candidate?


Anonymous said...

Certainly he has not answered the question #1 adequately. If he did, he would be disowned by anyone who supports him except the racist, antiamerican, bigotted, antisemites. So, he will never answer the question adequately.

I don't think question one is the least bit racist. The only thing the question will reveal is a racist or a liar.

I believe Obama is nothing in public what he is inside. He has to be just like Rev. Wright. You don't associate yourself with people you don't relate to for 20 years.

Anonymous said...


I agree with your comment mostly, but there's some people who have associations that aren't as close as they seem.

This is complex for voters. I think Obama is an intelligent man. Whether or not he truly shares Reverend Wright's mindset, who is to know? That's the real problem.

Some people voice shock that Professor Johnson still supports Obama, but I don't understand it. Johnson has always supported him right from the start. Why are people surprised now to know that Johnson is a liberal?

I can never thank him enough for the job he did during the Duke case. I think he is a real independent thinker. Everyone else is free to make of that what they will.

Diva also seems to have gone a little to the left. Nobody can say that Obama isn't charismatic and that's what many people go for.

Here's hoping that there isn't a blog war over all the politics. I thoroughly enjoy John in Carolina, Lie Stoppers, and DIW, all.

Diva's love for KC is like a classic romance that is enjoyable to watch.

Archer05 said...

Anonymous said...
“Here's hoping that there isn't a blog war over all the politics. I thoroughly enjoy John in Carolina, Lie Stoppers, and DIW, all.”
You must not read JiC very often. John takes a lot of time to discuss politics and keep us up on headline news. We can make up our own minds. Refreshing for a change.

If your statement is some sort of ploy to shut down any criticism of Obama, it won’t work for me. Nice try, but “Here’s hoping” John ignores your shallow remarks.

Anonymous said...

What's interesting is the counter argument the Democrats have come up with: they ask about the statements of Rev. Hegge, one of McCain's backers, generally considered to be anti-Catholic. Well, for starters, McCain hasn't attended Hegge's sermons for two decades--in fact probably has never attended services conducted by Hegge at all. This is the Democrats' way of attempting to draw attention away from the Mr. Obama-Pastor Wright association. If Wright's statements are divisive and extreme today, they were equally so during the period Mr. Obama considered Wright to be his spiritual mentor and advisor. The bottom line is Mr. Obama must have given Wright's lunatic ideas some degree of credibility right up until he was caught and had to do some pretty fast and fancy tap-dancing. Any thinking person must conclude that Mr. Obama is disingenuous at best or a blatant liar at worst. To my mind, he's a perfect snake-oil peddler who has managed to hoodwink a good number of gullible people. The sad part is that, by comparison, Hillary Rodham looks downright honest and presidential. I'm waiting for Denver. It should be a hoot!
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

Obama blew his opportunities to distance himself from Wright in Philadelphia. He wanted it both ways and the voters aren't buying it. Even his second attempt after the National Press Club appearance is carefully measured and weak. I believe the white voters believe they were taken in by Obama. Best of luck to Hillary on Tuesday.