Thursday, September 25, 2008

Obama Gets Gets No Lift from Economic Turmoil

John McCain and Barack Obama are locked in a statistical deadheat in the Wall Street Journal's new poll on the presidential race:

The race between Barack Obama and John McCain remains a dead heat, despite financial turmoil that has turned the nation's attention to economic issues that tend to favor the Democratic presidential candidate, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

One reason that Sen. McCain may remain competitive: The survey shows that voters have grown even angrier about the direction of country than they were over the summer, a sentiment that the Arizona lawmaker has appealed to with a passionate populist message. For more than a week, he has eviscerated Wall Street and Washington alike for the greed, corruption and incompetence he says lie behind the financial meltdown.

At the same time, a majority of voters still believe Sen. Obama is best able to handle the economy, and many more believe he would bring real change to the country than say the same of Sen. McCain.

Overall, the race remains essentially tied, with 48% favoring Sen. Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, and 46% favoring Sen. McCain and his vice presidential choice, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. In the last Journal poll two weeks ago, Sen. Obama had a one-point edge. The new poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. (
See the full poll results.)
While Obama is stronger on the economy, McCain holds a substantial lead among political independents, 51 to 38 percent, which is a ratio to watch as election day draws near (see Rasmussen's daily tracker as well, which also indicates a statistical tie).

Note, too, that
state-by-state polling will be key in forecasting the race. While some reports have seen Barack Obama doing well in the battleground states, John McCain's up in Ohio (which could be the decisive state in 2008), and the Obama campaign has abandoned its highly-touted "50-state strategy," essentially conceding a large number of states for the GOP (a reality check on the hubris).


UPDATE: Gallup's tracking numbers find McCain and Obama in at tie a 46 percent apiece.