The Campaign Spot

Okay, No, Really, Why Would Independents Be Breaking To McCain?

The Wall Street Journal poll:

The survey finds that Sen. Obama has lost ground with the independent voters who will be crucial to the outcome of the election. They now favor Sen. McCain by 13 percentage points, up from eight points two weeks ago. In early September, just after both parties’ conventions, half of independent voters had a positive image of Sen. Obama; now it’s just 39%. Independents were also less likely to say they could identify with his background and values than they were in early September.
And nearly half of all voters — 45% — said they think that Sen. Obama would raise taxes on middle-income people, even though he has promised not to, a sign that Sen. McCain’s attacks on taxes are working.

Same deal as the LA Times poll described below – two national polls out the same day, both by major media organizations, both showing McCain surging among independents, yet still trailing Obama by a few points. (Haven’t seen a partisan breakdown of the sample, but they’ve got to have a much larger number of Democrats, unless there’s a sudden explosion of Obamacans.)  If they’re accurate (big if, but if the poll is wrong, it’s really odd to have two wrong polls making the same error), something’s got independents shifting to McCain in significant numbers, and yet at a time when most polls have McCain slipping. What gives? Some television ads breaking through?


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