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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

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  October 30, 2008; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Tracking  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: WaPo-ABC Tracking: Facing Off on Leadership
Next: WaPo-ABC Tracking: Race, Ethnicity and Turnout


Here's a reason to vote for Obama that isn't getting much attention: Obama represents a refreshing new brand of politics.

Yes, anyone who is paying attention has seen the myriad of independent studies proving that Obama has a far superior plan for the economy, tax relief, health care, foreign policy and education compared to McCain (especially for middle class Americans)! Clearly, Obama selected a running mate highly qualified to be President immediately, UNLIKE McCain's cynical choice of Sarah Palin for VP.

These are all important facts, but in addition to these points, I want to encourage voters to consider the type of campaigns we've seen this year.
Obama's campaign is focused on the critical issues, with themes of change, hope, and peace.

The McCain campaign looks like a re-run of Bush/Rove 2004: lies, relentless personal attacks and smears, anger, and hate. If you're like me, you're sick of the McCain/Bush gutter politics.

We cannot repeat the mistake of rewarding McCain's negative behavior with political victory. By casting your vote for Obama, you are telling our politicians that we, the people, can no longer be fooled by the negative and spiteful politics of fear and distraction. Obama is the change we need to solve our economic, domestic, and foreign policy issues. Perhaps just as important, Obama is the change we need to repair the American political environment as well!

Posted by: jgarrisn | October 30, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 30, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday independents favored Obama by 10 points. Today they favor Obama by 4 points.

The reason the overall poll numbers stayed even with yesterday is that McCain had erosion with his base by 2 points. Reps voting for Obama increased by 2 points.

There was no other erosion in McCain's numbers.

So a six point improvement among independents in a poll with independents accounting for 2 points more than yesterday and with the only erosion being 2 points among reps and the overall poll doesn't move in McCain's favor. That's odd, and it makes me question the internals.

Posted by: SAM13 | October 30, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Just a little note about Sen McCains $5,000.00 tax credit to purchase health insurance. I lost my healthcare benifits this year with my employer that coverage cost me $58.00 weekly thats $224.00 monthly and $2648 yearly. he same coverage with COBRA was $1200. monthly and $14,000.00 yearly How does John McCain think a $5,000.00 tax credit will offset the real cost of privite insurance? It will cost me $11,852 .00 more dollars out of my pocket and the empolyer will save @ $10,000.00 dollars per employee and will probably not increase the employees pay rate.

Posted by: rmarshia | October 30, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

The Obama lead is holding up in both the electoral college and the popular vote, men and women, rich and poor. The October surprise - a cross-border US raid into Syria - failed to turn into an international crisis. There has been more polling than ever done before, more early voting than ever before, more blogging than ever before. Obama has already brought us together.

What if the final vote turned out to match the early voting spread of 20 percentage points or more? That's a story that would be best served as a surprise.

Posted by: DrDan2000 | October 30, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but I fact, I'm shocked. The presidency of Bush can hardly be considered a success by any measurement I'm aware of. And McCain/Palin do not offer much of a difference in policy. Yet Republicans support McCain/Palin in overwhelming numbers. Anybody have a reason for that other than using an appeal to reason with Republicans just doesn't work...they are strictly ideologues. ????

Posted by: ptgrunner | October 30, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

How ironic is it that NOW that the race is close John McCain is closing the gap by campaigning with (so stupid) Sarah Palin, and the Obama camp has put THIER fabulous RUNNING MOUTH, I mean RUNNING MATE Joe Biden (as in biding my time) UNDERGROUND?

Do you think this is the agenda Joe Biden agreed to with Barack Obama before he agreed to be the VEEP?

Posted by: cruisemates | October 30, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

The performance of the economy in 2008 had a substantial effect on Bush’s job approval, too much of an effect.

Posted by: forexthinker-com | October 31, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse


Latest good news: NYT/CBS, O up 11; Post, O up 8, Zogby and Gallup, O up 7. For the most part, O leads in every battleground state. Only cause for worry: young voters not voting early, trick machines in West Virginia (you vote for O but it comes up Mac), and trick ballots in North Carolina(voters not told they have to vote separately for president if they select the party line option).

Hello to universal health care and world peace. Goodbye to bloviating about fistbumps, flagpins, Ayers, and goodbye parties for tenured Palestianian college professors.

But polls are irrelevant now. The only thing is the VOTE. VOTE EARLY. That way you don't have to worry about sickness, taking leave, the old car running, or "the Man" running some bogus game at the polling place. VOTE NOW!

WHEN O wins, not IF, it will represent America's triumph. A win of hope over hate, calm over rage, intelligence over stupidity, brotherhood over bigotry, and peace over war. It will be a victory of humanity for all time. So it was with Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kennedy, and so it will be with "that One," as you-know-who churlishly called him in the debate.

But BHO's Message of Hope will not be carried forward unless you vote. As O told the crowd that booed McCain at a recent rally, "Don't boo, vote!"

Everyone, vote and make sure they count your vote.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 31, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Drudge Report says extremist papers like the Washington Times have been thrown off O-Force One to make room for real journalists like Pultizer Prize winner Maureen Dowd, who, with Joe Klein, was earlier thrown off Mac's plane, allegedly, for reporting the news. Making room for legit news people like MoDo. That's ALL good.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 31, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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