Republican pollster Frank Luntz was conducting one of his focus groups in Denver, talking to 21 supposedly undecided Coloradoans about the race.
What he discovered were doubts about John McCain and an antipathy that crossed party lines for George Bush. But he also discovered that there was a great unease about Barack Obama with the number one question on people's minds being "Is he ready?"
In information sheets the voters had filled out beforehand, twelve said they voted for George W. Bush in 2004, while just five voted for John Kerry. (Four either voted for other candidates or did not vote at all.) What that suggests is that people who voted for Bush just four years ago have no interest in being seen as Republicans now — surely not good news for McCain.
But the undecideds seem willing to separate their dislike of the parties, and the Republican party in particular, from the presidential candidates themselves. When Luntz goes around the room, pressing each person to give his or her best one-word description of Obama, these are some of the answers:
I'm not sure that last person is "undecided" but it is clear from his other results as well that Obama has failed to "close the sale" in Colorado - and probably throughout the country. And now that people are starting to pay more attention to the race, you have to wonder whether that feeling will become more pronounced or will dissipate as people get to know Obama a little better.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky