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Toe to Toe on Issues and Attributes

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds each of the two contenders for the Democratic nomination for president holding an edge over presumptive Republican nominee John McCain if the general election were held today.

And digging deeper on a contest between McCain and the Democrats' delegate leader, Barack Obama, the poll shows potential stumbling blocks for both candidates, with Obama somewhat better positioned on issues and attributes overall and among that quintessential swing group, independents.

On five of eight attributes tested, Obama leads McCain by wide margins, and among independents, racks up larger margins on empathy and having a clearer vision for the future:

Q: Regardless of whom you may support, who do you think...

                             Obama McCain Obama adv. Ob. Indeps. 
has a better personality and                     
  temperament to be  president 57    28     +29         +24
better understands the 
  problems of people like you  56    29     +27         +34
would do more to bring             
  needed change to Washington  56    31     +25         +18
has a clearer vision 
  for the future               53    32     +21         +27
has higher personal and 
  ethical standards            43    31     +12         +10

But McCain leads on two measures of strength and experience and as the candidate with better knowledge of world affairs. On both experience questions, McCain widens his overall edge among independents:

Q: Regardless of whom you may support, who do you think...

                          McCain Obama McCain adv. McC. Indeps.
has the better experience 
  to be president           70     19     +51         +67
has better knowledge
  of world affairs          64     24     +40         +32
is the stronger leader      51     40     +11         +29

On the issues, Obama has a lead on all but two of the six tested. On the war in Iraq, the two are close, though McCain has an edge among independents. On terrorism, McCain leads by double-digits overall and among independents on terrorism.

Q: Regardless of whom you may support, whom do you trust more to handle...

                   Obama McCain Obama adv. Ob. Indeps.
Health care          56    30      +26       +22
Immigration issues   48    35      +13       +16
Ethics in government 48    35      +13        +4
The economy          49    37      +12        +6
The war in Iraq      43    48       -5       -14
Terrorism            33    58      -25       -18

Some of Obama's edge on these issues may come from greater acceptance of his ideological point of view. Most, 56 percent, said his views on most issues are "just about right," while 41 percent said the same of McCain.

Eight years ago during his unsuccessful run for the White House, 55 percent judged McCain's views to be about right while 19 percent called him "too conservative" and 16 percent said "too liberal." Now, the same percentage say he's too far to the left, 34 percent say too far to the right, and among independents, the percentage calling him too conservative has leapt from 18 percent to 40 percent.

Complete data from the Washington Post-ABC News poll can be found here.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  March 5, 2008; 6:03 PM ET
Categories:  Post Polls  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Veepstakes
Next: SCOTUS: 2nd Amendment


From: Deadline USA

Clinton's role in Nafta-gate

It was Clinton's camp that downplayed its own trade bashing, reports the Canadian media

March 6, 2008 12:30 PM

A storm of reports in the Canadian media say that the Nafta-gate flap last week involving Barack Obama was started by a key aide to Canada's prime minister - who told journalists that Hillary Clinton's campaign - not Obama's - had contacted the Canadian government to play down its Nafta-bashing.

The Canadian Press wire service - the equivalent to AP - reports that Ian Brodie, chief of staff to Stephen Harper, was talking to journalists last week: "Brodie was asked about remarks aimed by the Democratic candidates at Ohio's anti-Nafta voters that carried economic implications for Canada." It quotes a witness who reported Brodie's remarks:

"He said someone from (Hillary) Clinton's campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt ... That someone called us and told us not to worry."

Here's today's splash in the Globe and Mail, which begins: "The leak of a confidential diplomatic discussion that rocked the US presidential campaign began with an offhand remark to journalists from the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Ian Brodie." It goes on:

Mr Brodie ... stopped to chat with several journalists, and was surrounded by a group from CTV.... The conversation turned to the pledges to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement made by the two Democratic contenders, Mr Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Mr Brodie, apparently seeking to play down the potential impact on Canada, told the reporters the threat was not serious, and that someone from Ms Clinton's campaign had even contacted Canadian diplomats to tell them not to worry because the Nafta threats were mostly political posturing.

Posted by: ac11 | March 6, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

There is something fishy here. Someone at the Canadian Embassy is trying damage control.

Before we have a memo written by a Canadian Consul employee who was sitting on a meeting between Austan Goolsbee and the Canadian Consul. Obama denied the meeting for days if not weeks, before admitting it. Here we have Mr. Brodie saying that "someone" from Clinton's campaign contacted "Canadian Diplomats". I see the vast contrast between the two reports.

Posted by: pKrishna | March 6, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

As important at this point is the fact that many more Republicans will be voting for Hillary now that McCain is the obvious candidate. In Texas, 8% of those voting for Hillary were Republicans hoping that would insure McCain's victory in Nov. In Fla. the numbers were not that significant but many Republicans did switch parties to vote for Hillary.....more important than that however, is the fact Independents were barred from voting for any candidate and if the past 2 Presidential elections show anything, Florida Independents do not like Clinton (or those associated with him...such as Gore and Kerry).

So you can probably count both Florida and Texas in the McCain camp come November.

Posted by: Will | March 6, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the media has been negligent in awarding a Texas win to ANY candidate since the caucus delegates are still being determined. They represent 1/3 of the state's delegates (ie 2/3 from the primary and 1/3 from the caucuses).

How can an winner be announced when 1/3 of the delegate count has not been determined yet?? The primary was so close, that Clinton only bested Obama by 4 delegates. It's not over folks till the last caucus is counted!

Posted by: barbara (Toronto) | March 6, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Will Someone please tell the American Voter if McCain is a Dem, as registered, A Conservative as he claims, or a Republican as Bush claims! Actually, there doesn't seem to be a Rep. candidate. All Republicans are hiding, and with good reason!

Just another point for the young voter,. Hussein contributed to the Bush
ILLEGALE WAR FUND. AND ALSO VOTED TO INCREASE TUITION FOR COLLEGE, SO HOW WILL OUR YOUNG PEOPLE MANAGE TO GET hIGHER eDUCATION WHEN PARENTS ARE TRYING NOT TO LOSE THEIR HOMES, WAGES AND HEALTH BENEFITS. jOIN THE aRMED fORCES AND put your lives on the line. Obama has no money problems, and could care less no matter what he preaches. He has Oprah, Farrahkan, and Tony, the Gangster.(and his Football) "So where's the BEEF"? and more impotantly WHAT IS THE CHANGE HE IS TOUTING!!

Posted by: lynn parker | March 6, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Based on the Google Effect, Barack would also fair better, as this report highlights;

Obama vs. McCain- The Internet Indicators:

Posted by: Dave | March 6, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

McCain is favored by most voters over Obama in the category cited above "has the better experience to be president." McCain certainly has more experience in national office, but having more is not necessarily better. Better, in my opinion, includes having good judgment, integrity, a bold vision, ethical values, etc., not how many years a person has been a governor, Senator, or Vice-President.

Posted by: Koreen | March 6, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse


R M Kraus

Posted by: Robert M Kraus Sr | March 6, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama has yet to be the nominee of the Dem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But this article and author talked like he has!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: diaohp | March 6, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Check these numbers. How much money would Florida or Michigan pay to have the Super Bowl held in their State? There is no bigger circus than the Obama/Clinton debate.....

Posted by: Ohg Rea Tone | March 7, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Check out this website...

Posted by: Kathy Rogers | March 9, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

A "democracy" will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the "most benefits" from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage

In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country.

Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare.


Number of States won by:
Gore: 19
Bush: 29

Square miles of land won by:
Gore: 580,000
Bush: 2,427,000

Population of counties won by:
Gore: 127 million
Bush: 143 million

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Gore: 13.2
Bush: 2.1

Some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached
the 'governmental dependency' phase.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegal and they vote, then we can
say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.

Posted by: BLUEFLORIDA | March 10, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll

Results Now Posted Instantly!

Check Out Our New Polls Posted Weekly!

Posted by: votenic | March 13, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Why would anybody vote for McCain? See this video that Iran released and tell me who won the 2003 Iraq war?

I'll tell you who won, Ahmadinejad! And yet McCain wants to stay in Iraq for another 100 years!!!!!

Posted by: Ali | March 15, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

It's time for us to move beyond the Bush-Clinton years. Hillary has the experience to lie and cheat her way into the office. McCain is positioning himself as an extension of the Bush years.

Obama is the best choice to move the country forward.

Posted by: radiocboy | April 11, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

R M Kraus is out of the loony bin now???

Posted by: Desiree | April 27, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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