WaPo-ABC Tracking: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Sen. John McCain has made no evident headway in separating himself from President Bush in the final days of the campaign, and that connection continues to be a drag on his candidacy.
According to the new Washington Post-ABC News daily tracking poll, Bush remains deeply unpopular, with a majority expressing strong disapproval for the job he's doing as president. His approval rating now stands at 24 percent, just a point off his career low of 23 percent reached about three weeks ago, and still hovering near the all-time low in polling back to 1938.
Half of likely voters in the poll said McCain would mainly lead the country in the same direction as Bush, a figure that has held at about that level for nearly the entire campaign; 47 percent said he would lead in a new direction. It's an association that cuts straight to the vote: Barack Obama's support reaches 90 percent among those who believe McCain would continue in Bush's direction, and more than three-quarters of such voters see McCain as a risky choice.
And little more than a quarter of those who disapprove of the job Bush is doing back McCain over Obama, with McCain making little or no progress among this large segment of the electorate.
These patterns hold among independents, even as they are somewhat more apt to see McCain as offering a change than are voters overall: 53 percent said McCain's presidency would bring a shift from Bush, 44 percent said it would be a continuation of his policies.
Overall, the presidential race is unchanged from yesterday in the tracking poll: Obama holds an eight-point lead, 52 percent supporting the senator from Illinois to 44 percent for McCain.
Q. If the 2008 presidential election were being held today, for whom would you vote? (Among likely voters)
Obama McCain All voters 52 44 Men 50 46 Women 54 42 Democrats 88 9 Independents 49 45 Republicans 11 86 Liberals 82 16 Moderates 63 31 Conservatives 17 80 House. inc. <$50K 55 39 House. inc. $50K+ 53 45 Wh. hh inc. <$50K 44 50 Wh. hh inc. $50K+ 48 49 Views on Bush: Approve 8 87 Disapprove 71 27 McCain's Direction: Same as Bush 90 8 New direction 13 83
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