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 Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why Obama Looks BETTER in This Financial Crisis


Clive Crook


A new poll this morning seems to say, according to The Washington Post:

"Turmoil in the financial industry and growing pessimism about the economy have altered the shape of the presidential race, giving Democratic nominee Barack Obama the first clear lead of the general-election campaign over Republican John McCain, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll.

Just 9 per cent of those surveyed rated the economy as good or excellent, the first time that number has been in single digits since the days just before the 1992 election. Just 14 per cent said the country is heading in the right direction, equalling the record low on that question in polls dating back to 1973.

More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support.

The poll found that, among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 per cent to 43 per cent. Two weeks ago, in the days immediately following the Republican National Convention, the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49 per cent and Obama at 47 per cent."

It is just one poll, but still.

I do think Mr Obama is handling the crisis much better than Mr McCain - not because he is suggesting better remedies (he continues to say little), but because his instinct to reflect BEFORE opening his mouth and his impeccable taste in advisers are both working to his advantage.

These factors, I think, are much more important than the supposed popularity of standard Democratic positions on economic management.

Unlike Mr McCain, Mr Obama offers no instant bold responses needing to be qualified or withdrawn or forgotten soon after. As ever, Obama looks calm, methodical and unruffled - and has his picture taken in conference with Paul Volcker, Bob Rubin and Larry Summers, who command wide respect.

His response may be thin, so far, on content, but it is an altogether more reassuring posture than his rival's tendency to hasty and exaggerated certainty.

This difference of intellectual temperament has often been seen as one of Obama's biggest drawbacks, including by many of his own supporters. But the complexities of the crisis are putting those traits in a much better light.


Hispanics overwhelmingly for Obama in US 'swing states'

Read here:in AFP

A great majority of Hispanic voters in US swing states favor Democratic Barack Obama over Republican John McCain in the race for the White House, a Newslink poll said Friday.

Of the 684 adults surveyed by telephone in seven swing states from September 11-18, 63 percent said they would vote for the Illinois senator on November 4, against only 26 percent for the Arizona senator.

Swing voters are called as such for their unpredictable votes in an election.

Colorado's Hispanic voters in the poll backed Obama over McCain by a 74-to-14 percent margin, followed by New Mexico with a 68-24 percent margin, Arizona 66-23, Nevada 52-19, Pennsylvania 51-28, and Ohio 33-27.

The two senators came out closest in the poll in Florida, where Obama edged out his rival by 45.8-42.3 percent, with 12 percent undecided.

In June, a Newslink poll put McCain ahead of Obama among Hispanics by 35.8-33.1 percent, with 31 percent undecided.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.75 points.

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