Maverick is Down!

The Los Angeles Times is out with its latest presidential poll. Your frontrunner:

The gritty details:

In a two-man race between the major party candidates, registered voters chose Obama over McCain by 49% to 37% in the national poll conducted last weekend.

Obama's advantage, bigger in this poll than in most other national surveys, appears to stem in large part from his positions on domestic issues. Both Democrats and independent voters say Obama would do a better job than McCain at handling the nation's economic problems, the public's top concern.

In contrast, many voters give McCain credit as the more experienced candidate and the one best equipped to protect the nation against terrorism -- but they rank those concerns below their worries about the economy.

Moreover, McCain suffers from a pronounced "enthusiasm gap," especially among the conservatives who usually give Republican candidates a reliable base of support. Among voters who describe themselves as conservative, only 58% say they will vote for McCain; 15% say they will vote for Obama, 14% say they will vote for someone else, and 13% say they are undecided.

By contrast, 79% of voters who describe themselves as liberal say they plan to vote for Obama.

Nothing surprising there. More surprising, at first blush:

On a four-man ballot including independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr, voters chose Obama over McCain by an even larger margin, 48% to 33%.

The paper doesn't release the exact numbers yet, so I don't know which of the two spoilers polls higher, but that's 4 points they take from McCain and only 1 from Obama. "When Nader and Barr are added to the ballot, they draw most of their support from voters who said they would otherwise vote for the Republican," reports the paper.

Why this doesn't surprise me, the more I think about it: The country desperately wants a Democratic president at the moment. Republicans acknowledge this. The honest ones argue that their best chance at winning is making Obama so weird and treasonous-seeming that swing voters can't pull the lever for him. That strategy, of course, fails to assuage doubts about McCain. As he fails to differentiate himself from the GOP brand, those alienated voters look elsewhere on the ballot.

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  • ||

    Both Democrats and independent voters say Obama would do a better job than McCain at handling the nation's economic problems, the public's top concern.

    In contrast, many voters give McCain credit as the more experienced candidate and the one best equipped to protect the nation against terrorism -- but they rank those concerns below their worries about the economy.


    Holy crap. It's like your average person is some kind of evil genius that is actively trying to get it wrong.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Holy crap. It's like your average person is some kind of evil genius that is actively trying to get it wrong.

    Exactly. Shit.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    Still too early.

  • NotThatDavid||

    To play devil's advocate, "better than McCain on the economy" doesn't necessarily mean "remotely close to anything that bears a passing resemblance to good."

  • Mister DNA||

    Why this doesn't surprise me, the more I think about it: The country desperately wants a Democratic president at the moment.



    Does the country desperately want a president who's a democrat, or a president who's not a republican? There's a subtle distinction, you know...

  • ||

    Among voters who describe themselves as conservative, only 58% say they will vote for McCain; 15% say they will vote for Obama, 14% say they will vote for someone else, and 13% say they are undecided.

    What jumps out at me is the 14% voting for someone besides Obama or McCain. Good news for Barr!

  • ||

    Warren gets my vote for comment of the day...did anyone else laugh out loud?

  • duster||

    The honest ones argue that their best chance at winning is making Obama so weird and treasonous-seeming that swing voters can't pull the lever for him.

    Past experience leads me to believe that will be effective enough for McCain to win.

  • ||

    Mr. DNA asks a good question.

    One point to consider: as Republican party registration plummets, Independent registrations are rising, but Democratic registrations are rising even faster.

  • ||

    McBush should consider beginning his campaign soon.

  • ||

    Holy crap. It's like your average person is some kind of evil genius that is actively trying to get it wrong.

    No shit. The public view is exactly the opposite of my thinking.

    I've been convinced that the average H. sapiens is a goddam idiot (present company excepted) for quite some time. Nothing ever comes along to disabuse me of that notion.

  • ||

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=mZiqexz7aqQ

    Good video. Ya learn about how good or bad Obama is, how Obama may change America from evil to good, and as an added bonus, the reason Kennedy was killed by the Jews. That last point was pretty obvious, but the rest is kind of interesting.

  • ||

    The average American wants Obama to run domestic/economic policy and McCain to run foreign policy.

    Shit, that's LBJ!

  • ||

    Why do people keep conducting or listening to these national polls? Since we have an electoral college it would make a lot more sense to poll each state and give us the theoretical electoral college winner at this point.

  • ||

    Jim Bob | June 24, 2008, 5:57pm | #

    McBush should consider beginning his campaign soon.


    I wish McCain was more personally loathsome, or more stained by the Bush administration's dirty business, or at least had a less honorable personal history.

    I want to be able to enjoy this beating he's taking, the way I enjoyed watching the Bush/Kerry debates, but my heart's not really in it.

    He's a decent guy, and sort of a sad sack. That's no fun.

  • ||

    joe
    I really liked Dole too...

  • ||

    I think it's interesting that in a party which embraces militarism and black-and-white worldviews so much that perhaps the two candidates least supported by their base in the last couple decades were genuine heroes, while the two that get the most admiration are a B actor and a former cheerleader...

  • No Name Guy||

    MNG, there are mathematical models that predict what states each candidate would win given a % of the popular vote. If the % of the popular vote victory is more than 3%, the chances of a discrepancy between the electoral and popular votes is too small even to measure.

    Even if it did happen, it would probably mean a Democratic victory anyway since the growing Republican (and shrinking Democratic states) haven't been counted in eight years.

    It looks like with this and the Newsweek poll we can say Senator Change is the front-runner.

  • No Name Guy||

    Whether he will still be the front runner when the media decides they want to make it a horse race and begin dumping on him like they did between March and May, and after the Republican attack machine/swift boaters kick in, I don't know. I doubt it.

  • ||

    MNG,

    www.realclearpolitics.com has links to such a map. Two versions, actually, one with tossups assigned and one without.

  • No Name Guy||

    MNG, I liked George H.W. Bush and still do. I feel very sorry for him that his name will not be associated with smoothly transitioning out of the cold war and masterfully putting together and leading an international coalition to victory, but instead he will be remembered as the father of a failure.

  • Russ 2000||

    Both Democrats and independent voters say Obama would do a better job than McCain at handling the nation's economic problems, the public's top concern.

    It doesn't speak well of the brains of the independent voters.

    We're doomed.

  • Russ 2000||

    I want to be able to enjoy this beating he's taking, the way I enjoyed watching the Bush/Kerry debates, but my heart's not really in it.

    McCain-Feingold is reason enough for me to enjoy the beating he's taking. Hard to believe the GOP found someone more loathsome that the Democrats, but by golly they did - and rather quickly, too. Only Giuliani was more loathsome, so I suspect he'll be the running mate.

  • ||

    I could get a good hate on for Rudy.

  • No Name Guy||

    A Pro Choice running mate? Really?

    I thought that would happen when pigs fly and assholes grow teeth. Thats also why I don't think the Lieberdouche will get it, either.

  • ||

    He's so...so...nice.

    Yeah.

    Nice.

    A peach.

    Impeach the peach!

  • No Name Guy||

    What I don't get is, why the hell are the Rasmussen tracking and Gallup tracking polls in low single digits?

  • Russ 2000||

    A Pro Choice running mate? Really?

    I predict the McCain campaign will devolve into "Vote for us! We're Obama-lite!"

  • No Name Guy||

    Either that, Russ, or there will be a lot of rambling on about "Islamofascism" and scary predictions while they pray for something really bad to happen to us in the fall involving Muslims.

  • ||

    I liked Rudy. At one of the GOP debates they asked him if he thought every word of the Bible was literally true and he stood there and gave a ballsy and very sensible answer.

    Did I mention he did that in a Republican debate?

    Say what you want, but THAT is courage these days...

  • ||

    Is anyone here going to tell me they would trade living under Rudy during his term in NYC with living under a theoretical city run by Hillary, Obama, or McCain? He did a damn good job without being a total puritan.

    I watched Taxi Driver the other day. Who would believe, having visited NYC lately, that the film was about NYC?

  • ||

    MNG,

    In your example, do I get to be white?

  • No Name Guy||

    Joe, you forgot to add a non-street vendor, non-drug user, non small business in Times Square driven out by Disney and MTV, etc etc.

    NYC still sucks, just in a different way than it did before the 1990s.

  • ||

    "NYC still sucks, just in a different way than it did before the 1990s."

    You're kidding right? Did you go there at both times? NYC is still more vibrant and diverse than 90% of U.S. cities, but has ceased to be a freaky cesspool that you would never take your kids or your (unarmed) self into...

    "In your example, do I get to be white?"

    Yeah joe, blacks don't benefit when crime goes down amazingly...

  • No Name Guy||

    Yes MNG. I hated it both times, for different reasons.

    The first time because it was crime ridden, crowded, and dirty.

    The second time because it was an over-crowded Kings Dominion, except with awful traffic and no cool rides. But it did have all the over-priced food and ridiculous regulations of a theme park!

  • No Name Guy||

    If you really really love crowds ad an outrageous cost of living and over-bearing police force, I guess its alright.

  • ||

    Oddly enough, MNG, African-Americans in New York didn't like Guiliani too much. Maybe that's because his "the only thing they understand is brute force" policing strategy didn't work any better than the community policing that succeeded so well in Boston, while leaving black bodies full of police bullets all over the city at a much higher rate.

    You know, my city saw an even larger drop in crime in the 1990 - the largest of any city in America - and race relations and community-police relations actually improved during that period.

  • No Name Guy||

    Crime dropped in the 90s and continues to stay low because those who initiated the crime wave of the 70s and 80s are either dead or serving very long sentences in prison.

    IIRC the drop started before Giuliani.

  • Lee Ving||

    New York's alright... if you like saxophones.

  • Geotpf||

    Obama has a 15 point lead? Really? That's not quite Reagan-Mondale (Reagan won by 18.2%, with 512 electoral votes more than Mondale), but more than Reagan-Carter (Reagan won by 9.3%, with 440 electoral votes more than Carter). I tend to stick with http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/, which has a 5.6% Obama lead and a 344-194 electoral vote count at the moment.

  • ||

    NYC still has all the charm and adventure of the old days with out all the crap (which was so bad even NYC lovers like Woody Allen complained about it).

    joe, NYC didn't try community policing? They were a model of it.

    More likely race relations "went bad" in the sense of racial hucksters didn't find the same influence in NYC as usual under Rudy...

  • ||

    "Oddly enough, MNG, African-Americans in New York didn't like Guiliani too much."

    No offense joe, but African-Americans, like the Irish in Joyce's novels, have (understandingly given the history) some weird-ass ideas about politics and what is good for them or not...

    NYC going from Taxi Driver to Disneyland is good for everyone, white or black, whatever their "leaders" may tell them...It's ESPECIALLY good for blacks, who are much more likely to be the victims of crimes than whites...

  • ||

    If anybody is the father of community policing it is George Kelling, who was part of the Rudy NYPD effort.

  • No Name Guy||

    The same people that did the Swift Boat attacks are planning to release a book about Obama in August.

    It will be interesting if he can keep up a double digit lead after that.

    They're going after him on his mother, his wife, Wright, Ayers, his contacts in Chicago (they accuse them of being Communists) etc.

  • ||

    MNG,

    They tried community policing under Commissioner William Bratton, the former Commissioner in Boston, who implemented the strategy there, to fantastic effect.

    Then Guiliani fired him, either because 1) he was getting too much press and too much credit, or 2) because, results notwithstanding, Rudy just didn't like the idea of the police trying to become humanized and viewed as members of the communities they worked in, rather than ass-kicking enforcers.

    NYC going from Taxi Driver to Disneyland is good for everyone, white or black, whatever their "leaders" may tell them Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and the South End became safer, too. That's not the question.

  • ||

    If Frank Zimring says the NYC drop was due to policing innovation, then I would buy it. They guy rarely attributes drops to that, and he's about as far from a conservative shill as Karl Marx...

    Look, I'm no lover of RG. If you want to talk about his problems, then lets. But under the guy NYC became better.

  • ||

    joe
    Everything I've read about Rudy suggests that his conflict with Bratton was ego...But he continued with police tactics that led to success.

    BTW-He was pro-choice (and held his ground during the GOP campaign), for some sensible gun control, and was friendly to gays. And he did not run from that like a coward as Romney did. On SNL he dressed as a girl. He had a sense of humor.

    He's good stuff.

  • ||

    If anybody is the father of community policing it is George Kelling

    I gotta call b.s. on that.

    The strategy of community policing was invented through a cooperative effort in Lowell, Massachusetts. The leading players were Commissioner Ed Davis (now Boston's Commissioner), the Lowell City Council, some judges in the District and Superior Courts, and Middlesex District Attorney Tom Reilly. After it showed dramatic success, the City of Boston began debating adopting what was know as the "Middlesex Strategy." It was implemented there first under William Bratton, with help from the Ten Point Coalition, a group of Boston clergy. When Bratton took it to New York, it was referred to as the "Boston Strategy."

  • ||

    RG's problems:

    Everything I've read makes me think he's got some strange personal ego problem that would hurt him as a leader.

    His "Islamo-fascism" was crazy opportunism at its worst

    His own family hating him so much was somewhat telling...

  • ||

    Everything I've read about Rudy suggests that his conflict with Bratton was ego

    Yeah, I can believe that. BTW, did you notice that Bratton had previously had a long stretch as Boston's Commissioner, and is now enjoying another long stretch as LA's Commissioner?

    But he continued with police tactics that led to success. He appointed his buddy Kerik, and started sending the Street Crimes Unit out to show who was boss.

  • No Name Guy||

    I still say no way McCain picks a pro-choice VP. If he does, he loses horribly and Barr ticks up quite a bit.

    I think the front runners for him are Romney, Crist (though hes possibly closeted), and Eric Cantor.

  • ||

    George Kelling was part of the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment in 1972 that dealt a death blow to the professional model of policing. Later he led the research team in the Newark City Foot Patrol Experiment which suggested the importance of getting cops out of cars and walking beats in the city to improve community-police relations. Later he was hired by NYC to advise The guy has tirelessly worked to suggest community policing strategies. Have you read his "Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities ?"

  • ||

    Haven't you heard? Republicans are going to lift the ban on offshore drilling, and then our energy problems will be solved, then McCain will win with $2 gasoline. Oil companies will swoop in, find more oil than anybody expected, Hugo Ahmadinejad will cower before the US and perhaps ask to buy oil from us. Once we recover the 20 billion barrels, we'll no longer have to rely on anybody for oil. Then, with McCain as president, we'll all be drinking that free bubble-ubb and eating that rainbow stew.

  • ||

    I'm sure Kelling et al., added the idea of Broken Windows to community policing. But I think Broken Windows is great.

  • No Name Guy||

    Look, MNG, harassing criminals and squegee men is one thing. Harassing hot dog vendors, taxi cab drivers, small business owners and art museums is quite another.

  • ||

    The art museum thing, agreed, but think of how much better Rudy was on that issue than anyone (including RP) else in the GOP debate would have been.

    Taxi cab drivers and hot dog owners needed some whooping imo.

  • No Name Guy||

    Yes, lets whip small-scale capitalists, the backbone of our economy (who are often immigrants just trying to make it here).

    God forbid McDonalds in Times Square should have competition!

  • No Name Guy||

    I will say that Bloomberg has taken it to a new level of obnoxiousness though.

    Trans fat bans, mandatory calorie counts, banning the honking of horns (!) and congestion pricing. That really takes the cake.

  • ||

    There were congestion concerns NNG. They were using public space in a way that someone who owned a building could not.

  • ||

    The problem with Broken Windows is that there are reasons why windows don't get fixed in certain areas, and fixed quickly in others.

    A decent area doesn't have windows sitting broken for long.

    In a bad area, you can keep fixing the area, and it will keep getting broken. You can't keep up.

    Crime is not an issue of people feeling too free to give reign to their anti-social impulses because they aren't getting enough socializing by their environment. Crime is not an issue of the "culture" of a certain area. Crime is an issue of a criminal fringe at odds with ordinary people, running wild because they aren't being stopped.

    Community Policing treats the great, decent majority as the allies of the police, and police as the allies of the ordinary people, and works to empower those ordinary people to take back their neighborhoods for themselves, knowing that the police have their backs.

    Guiliani's model was quite different. It was a low-grade version of a reign of terror, aimed at clamping down across the board to make people afraid to step out of line. It was an occupying army model, not much different than Darryl Gates, except more up close and personal.

    Community policing is about creating as many positive interactions between the police and members of the public as possible. Guiliani's model was about creating enough ass-kickings that everyone could see.

  • ||

    I'm painting in black and white here, and it wasn't really that simple, but that describes the poles, and Rudy was waaaaaaayyyyyy over to the right.

  • ||

    "Guiliani's model was quite different. It was a low-grade version of a reign of terror, aimed at clamping down across the board to make people afraid to step out of line. It was an occupying army model, not much different than Darryl Gates, except more up close and personal."

    That is fucking nuts joe. NYC was worlds apart from Gates ideas. Worlds. Yes, he had a zero tolerance idea (just meaning he would target some low attention offenses, as Kelling suggested). But it was not like Gates' approach.

    "The problem with Broken Windows is that there are reasons why windows don't get fixed in certain areas, and fixed quickly in others.

    A decent area doesn't have windows sitting broken for long.

    In a bad area, you can keep fixing the area, and it will keep getting broken. You can't keep up."

    Yes, Broken Windows acknowledges that some neighborhoods are lost. The whole point is to prevent neighborhoods from going past that tipping point.

  • ||

    Way to the right of who? Dinkins? Well, yeah. But Rudy was to the left of many Democrats in this nation joe.

    He was tough on crime though. Good for him. That's a good stance for leftists to take considering how much the poor and disadvantaged get screwed by crime...

  • ||

    joe, you really should read Kellings book...It's very sensitive to all the usual leftist complaints...And the guy is THE guy in criminal justice research...

  • No Name Guy||

    MNG what do you think of Lieberman?

  • ||

    I think he is trying to be principled, but he has the wrong principles.

    The war...The video games...

  • No Name Guy||

    Lieberman, to me, is what you get when you combine everything bad about a Democrat with an insane foreign policy.

    As joe would say, I could really work up a good hate for him.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Here's a better idea:

    Bob Barr running the economy/domestic issues.

    John McCain running the War in Iraq/Afghanistan and foreign policy.

    That's called Goldwaterism.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Interesting, according to the crosstabs Barr gets 7% of the registered independent vote, but none of the registered GOP vote. 16% of the independent and 9% of the GOP vote are still undecided, so he has room to grow (6% of the Dem voters are still undecided, but I really doubt Barr can grab many of them).

    http://www.calendarlive.com/media/acrobat/2008-06/40351172.pdf

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Oh and a hat tip to Ballot Access News for the link

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/06/24/new-four-way-presidential-poll/

  • ellipsis||


    If you click here,
    you'll find that the LA times likes to pad their results.

    The article was writen before the 2004 election, and it attempts to defend why a 7 point Kerry lead is valid. History shows they were off by 10 points.

  • ellipsis||

    By the way, Weigel... You're an idiot for using an LA Times poll, when you could have used a reputable poll like Rasmussen to show Obama with a 6% lead. You're starting to look more and more like a half-assed hack.

    Yes, we're all excited Obama might win, but can you knock it off with the crap reporting.

  • ||

    I wonder what kind of polling results we'll get from the LA Times when they finally get sold to the some outfit like the San Fernando Valley "Penny Saver" after 20 straight quarters of losses in ad revenues.

  • dhex||

    Oddly enough, MNG, African-Americans in New York didn't like Guiliani too much.

    weird how that happened.

    it's also weird how outside of the city al sharpton is like a lightning rod of attention, whereas he's just another part of a much larger mosaic of jerkoffs, like the *so* aptly named anthony weiner.

  • ||

    MNG,

    The whole point is to prevent neighborhoods from going past that tipping point.

    No neighborhood is 'lost.' Every single neighborhood has a majority of decent people who want to live safe, civilized lives. Yet another failure of Broken Windows philosophy.

    Not to mention, that "tipping point" isn't about broken windows, it's about people feeling empowered, like they are the ones determining what their neighborhood will be like. Such people will fix the window themselves. If they don't feel in control and aren't being backed up by the police, the windows will just keep getting broken.

    That's a good stance for leftists to take considering how much the poor and disadvantaged get screwed by crime... OK, I'll write again: the reductions in crime that Guiliani took credit for were happening in a lot of other places, like Lowell and Boston, that didn't antagonize the public with their tough-guy act, but actually improved police-community and race relations.

  • ||

    dhex,

    Last night on CNN, they had a panel discussion about religion and politics.

    They had two right-wing fundie religious leaders there to represent conservative Christians.

    Liberal churchgoers were represented by...Al Sharpton.

  • ||

    giuliani deserves credit for a) hiring and empowering police to increase enforcement b) implementing good ideas from bratton and others such as compstat (which often gets gamed admittedly, but was an improvement and works in tandem with things like successful community policing and rapid response).

    in his first term he did a lot to improve the crime situation, which was unbelievably bad before he came in. I lived here as a child in the 80's, it was really a huge fucking warzone where fear ruled the streets and the subways and you simply didn't go out at night. I came back for college in '98 and it was a different world.

    It's obvious that didn't get under giuliani, and still don't have, a good relationship between communities and the police, in general. Tough enforcement is important, although I think cops should go easy on minor crimes (instead of the assault in minor weed possession for example, guess who that affects the most), but I believe that effective strategies of community policing like what you guys were talking about earlier would reduce crime still further, and might even help make inroads into other social problems like economic and achievement gaps between races and between rich and poor. As someone who started out poor, I can tell you that it helps a lot when you dont feel like the system is actively against you, that the cops and authorities aren't just out there to screw you over and lock you up and keep you from participating in the economy above a burger-flipping level. In other words perception and respect is important and Giuliani moved us backwards in that regard.

    Anyway, even if he did some very good things as mayor, which he did, it doesn't mean we should let him within a mile of the Oval Office. He's an absolute loon and a dickhead to boot on foreign policy. (The ideal 'attack dog' McCain VP candidate in my opinion.)

    PS - Fuck Al Sharpton. someone as smart as him could have made a difference, and he deserves some credit for bringing needed attention to police brutality, but he's a demagogue and he pushes the black community backwards.

  • ||

    They had two right-wing fundie religious leaders there to represent conservative Christians.

    Liberal churchgoers were represented by...Al Sharpton.


    Probably the only time the right-wing fundies ever looked good, relatively that is.

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