Sales Pitches

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Call me crazy, but I found the latest Pew poll to be almost insanely good news for Barack Obama's prospects of beating John McCain. In particular, check out these results on the left. They don't, on the face of things, seem like very good news for Obama. But they come in the context of a poll that shows Obama beating McCain by a large 50-43 margin. Meanwhile, it seems to me that the best argument McCain has available to him is to try to persuade voters that Obama isn't tough enough on national security issues. Conversely, Obama's people will try to argue that McCain is too much of a warmonger. Given that a lot of what McCain is going to be looking to accomplish has been done already and he's still losing, this looks like trouble to me.

Similarly, Obama is winning even though he's doing unusually poorly among self-identified Democrats. In particular, older white working class Democrats seem drawn to McCain in pretty large numbers. But you've got to consider that at this point almost ever older white working class Democrat in America has been the target of a lot of messaging from Hillary Clinton arguing that Obama is too inexperienced and too dovish. They haven't, meanwhile, heard any messaging from anyone about how John McCain wants to privatize Social Security and cut Medicare benefits. Obama, in other words, is currently winning despite weakness with this demographic, and is also almost certain to look less weak among this demographic in November than he does today.

Meanwhile, in more good news for Democrats, in a Clinton-McCain matchup, Clinton wins too with a somewhat different pattern of support. Basically, even though 95 percent of Americans have never heard McCain criticized from the left, he's still behind against either candidate. I think it's a pretty bad position for him.