The Campaign Spot

All Things Considered, McCain’s Poll Standing Isn’t That Bad

Tracking polls this morning aren’t great news, but the trend is more or less the same – Rasmussen puts Obama’s lead at 5 percent, down from 8 percent two days ago, and the smallest gap since September. Zogby is at 4 percent, a bit higher than recent days, but still right around the margin of error. The Battleground poll shows it at 3 percent, but I am growing increasingly wary of that poll, as it seems to bounce around a bit.

Obviously, you would rather not be down by 3 to 5 percent in the tracking polls in the second week of October. But considering the absolutely disastrous news that McCain has weathered in the past month…

  • The stock market is down 30 percent for the year
  • The Bush administration, McCain, Obama, and a bipartisan majority pass a rather unpopular bailout/rescue
  • After the bailout/rescue passes, the markets plummet again
  • AIG gets a second massive loan from the government

…none of which make voters say, ‘hey, let’s make sure the Republican Party keeps the White House,’ it’s pretty surprising he’s still standing.

One other item, which surprises me… I had heard that the internal polls for Republican congressional candidates lately were roughly akin to how the aristocracy was polling during the French Revolution. But notice this:

The CNN/Opinion Research poll released Wednesday afternoon shows that Democrats have a 52 percent to 47 percent lead on a generic congressional ballot, down from the 14 point lead Democrats held last month in the same poll. Democrats in Congress may be taking a hit in part because of their leading roles in ushering through the incredibly unpopular $700 billion Treasury bailout legislation.
The lead still remains substantial for Democrats, and congressional campaign committees remain confident that their party will make gains in the Senate and House. One Democratic campaign aide said the generic ballot polls are volatile these days and other polls, like a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll  (see Page 12) showed a 49-36 lead for Democrats on a generic congressional ballot.
There is good news for everyone on Capitol Hill. Congressional approval ratings have skyrocketed from 22 percent to 23 percent.


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