A poll of North Carolina voters taken just after the end of the RNC and released yesterday has Sen. McCain up 20 points over Sen. Obama.
Most recent head-to-head polls of N. C. voters show McCain up by single digits, in some cases as few as 3 or 4 points.
So should we put much stock in this most recent poll?
People can decide that for themselves.
I’m treating it as the kind of outlier poll that points in the right direction, but overstates the margin.
My call – and I think I’m being conservative (small “c”) – is that McCain will carry N. C. by at least 10 points.
Why do I believe that?
Most of the “good news” about Obama – that he’s the “change candidate,” that he’s “the post-racial candidate,” “that he wants to ‘shake things up in Washington,’” etc., - is already well-known to N. C. voters.
We had a high-visibility Obama-Clinton primary here this Spring. Senator Obama and his wife were in the state often. They were very effective in getting their message out. Their efforts were backed by a large, organized, enthusiastic and heavily-financed campaign apparatus.
If I’m not mistaken, Obama spent more on his primary than any other presidential nominee candidate in our state’s history.
On top of all that, Obama’s media coverage was very positive to say the least.
Most of the N. C. media went along reciting his campaign themes without giving them serious scrutiny. I can’t recall Obama ever being asked tough, fair, and important questions such as:
“Senator, you say you’re a ‘post-racial’ candidate. But you’ve accepted the endorsement of one of the most powerful political organizations in this state – The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People – which excludes all but blacks from membership. How do you square that with your post-racial stance?But with much of the “good news” about Sen. Obama widely-known, N. C. polls still, as I’ve noted, consistently show him trailing Sen. McCain by single digits, the +20 outlier excepted .
And how is the Durham Committee’s racially exclusionary membership policy different from that of other groups with racially exclusionary membership policies?
Assuming the polls are a reasonably accurate gauge of Obama’s standing with N. C. voters, can he improve his standing with them?
I’m sure some will say, “Yes.”
But I can’t think of much he can do to improve his standing between now and election day; and I can think of a number of issues and factors likely to lower it.
I know his supporters say wait until voters hear Obama’s economic plan.
But North Carolinians have already heard it: from Vice-president Gore in 2000 and Sen. Kerry in 2004.
Let’s be honest: Obama’s economic plan is repackaged liberalism: just what Gore and Kerry promised.
For the record, Bush carried this state in 2000 by 13 points and in 2004 by 12 points.
By the time Election Day comes around the GOP will have seen to it that voters here know Sen. Obama was ranked the number 1 liberal in the Senate by National Journal. (The National Journal gave Sen. Biden had a pretty high liberal rating, too.)
Liberal presidential candidates just don’t do well in the old Tar Heel state.
That’s the main reason I feel safe saying McCain should carry this state by at least 10 points.
In future posts I’ll offer other reasons why I’m confident North Carolina belongs is the “Solidly for McCain” column.