The Impact of Wright
By Jennifer Agiesta
Public polling has revealed several potentially troubling trends for Barack Obama's campaign over the past few days, from the evaporation of his lead over Hillary Clinton in Gallup's daily tracking poll to a resurgent Clinton outperforming Obama against John McCain in the Associated Press-Ipsos poll, but perhaps none more so than what Newsweek's poll found among the Senator's own partisans.
The poll found the starkest evidence yet that Sen. Barack Obama's run for the presidency has been negatively impacted by the controversy surrounding his outspoken former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who in recent days made his first public appearances since news of his fiery sermons broke last month.
More than three in 10 Democrats reported feeling less favorable toward Obama as a result of what they had heard about Wright, double the percentage who said so in a CBS News poll in March.
And the Newsweek poll found Wright is not the only drag on Obama's popularity among Democrats. Three in 10 view Obama less favorably as a result of his own comments about "bitter" small-town residents clinging to guns and religion, and nearly a quarter report being turned off by Obama's answers to questions about why he chooses not to wear an American flag lapel-pin.
On the plus side for the Illinois senator, 41 percent of Democrats said they felt more favorable as a result of the speech Obama gave on race in America in the wake of the uproar over Wright's sermons.
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