Flash Poll on McCain Gambit shows public unimpressed (updated)

Survey USA conducted a flash poll immediately after the announcement by John McCain yesterday that he was suspending his campaign and skipping Friday's debate in Mississippi. What the pollsters found was not encouraging for the McCain camp:

A majority of Americans say the debate should be held. Just 10% say the debate should be postponed. A sizable percentage of Americans, 36%, think the focus of the debate should be modified to focus more on the economy. 3 of 4 Americans say the presidential campaign should continue. Just 14% say the presidential campaign should be suspended. If Friday's debate does not take place 46% of Americans say that would be bad for America.

This survey was completed in middle of unprecedented and fast-changing news events. This survey should be viewed as a freeze-frame snapshot of public opinion at a unique moment in American history. Opinions can and should be expected to change as news events unfold. SurveyUSA did not characterize Senator McCain's comments nor Senator Obama's comments in any way in the research questionnaire.

The pollsters make an excellent point. Perceptions of events are likely to change over a 48 hour period as the information goes through the usual filters of cable news, the internet, and the MSM. A much more accurate reading of how McCain's Gambit is being viewwed by the public should come just prior to Friday night's debate - if, as expected, it goes forward with or without the Republican candidate.

But even if those numbers were to rise significantly, it is doubtful McCain will do much more than blunt Obama's momentum that has been building over the last 72 hours as public skepticism about whether Congress will adopt a bailout package peaked. McCain may have tried to tap into that worry by his surprise announcement. But we won't know for at least a day whether he succeeded.

I have more on the McCain Gambit at
RWNH here.

Update - Ed Lasky adds a dissent:

McCain's gambit might resonate in two ways with voters. He has a strong record of bipartisanship-working with others across the aisle to deal with a range of big issues over the years. Obama is against stepping up to the plate and offering to work with others in Washington to help resolve this financial problem. He would be out of his depth-having a slim record of accomplishment and next to no record in being able to work across the aisle. If he moved towards the center to help resolve the problem, he might lose some of his left wing-base. It is easier for him to (yet again) not take a bold stand and instead complain and criticize.

Secondly, Obama knows he depends on speeches, promises, phrases, and sound bites (and a press that genuflects to him) rather than a record to generate votes. If he places himself in the center of the financial storm he would be expected to perform as a President would: decisively and commandingly. Something he has never really done on the legislative front.
He would be under a microscope-and this is a man who does not like to be judged or scrutinized.

Why put anything on the line-for the good of the country-when by not doing so he helps himself?

Update: Brett McCrae comments:

As many commentators have previously stated, this election was becoming a referendum on Senator Obama. By choosing to suspend his campaign to tend to the economic crisis, Senator McCain has done two things:

 

1)       He put the spotlight squarely on Senator Obama and how he handles this spotlight (with all eyes on him) will determine his fortune in November. So far, he has only demonstrated his penchant for echoing democratic talking points not for action in the face of adversity. I think this moment is prophetic for the prospect of an Obama Administration.

2)       I have mentioned before, Senator has made difficult decisions where he alone must face the consequences of his actions and he has elected, again, to put his country before himself. Simply put, that is leadership and that is what this country needs.






Survey USA conducted a flash poll immediately after the announcement by John McCain yesterday that he was suspending his campaign and skipping Friday's debate in Mississippi. What the pollsters found was not encouraging for the McCain camp:

A majority of Americans say the debate should be held. Just 10% say the debate should be postponed. A sizable percentage of Americans, 36%, think the focus of the debate should be modified to focus more on the economy. 3 of 4 Americans say the presidential campaign should continue. Just 14% say the presidential campaign should be suspended. If Friday's debate does not take place 46% of Americans say that would be bad for America.

This survey was completed in middle of unprecedented and fast-changing news events. This survey should be viewed as a freeze-frame snapshot of public opinion at a unique moment in American history. Opinions can and should be expected to change as news events unfold. SurveyUSA did not characterize Senator McCain's comments nor Senator Obama's comments in any way in the research questionnaire.

The pollsters make an excellent point. Perceptions of events are likely to change over a 48 hour period as the information goes through the usual filters of cable news, the internet, and the MSM. A much more accurate reading of how McCain's Gambit is being viewwed by the public should come just prior to Friday night's debate - if, as expected, it goes forward with or without the Republican candidate.

But even if those numbers were to rise significantly, it is doubtful McCain will do much more than blunt Obama's momentum that has been building over the last 72 hours as public skepticism about whether Congress will adopt a bailout package peaked. McCain may have tried to tap into that worry by his surprise announcement. But we won't know for at least a day whether he succeeded.

I have more on the McCain Gambit at
RWNH here.

Update - Ed Lasky adds a dissent:

McCain's gambit might resonate in two ways with voters. He has a strong record of bipartisanship-working with others across the aisle to deal with a range of big issues over the years. Obama is against stepping up to the plate and offering to work with others in Washington to help resolve this financial problem. He would be out of his depth-having a slim record of accomplishment and next to no record in being able to work across the aisle. If he moved towards the center to help resolve the problem, he might lose some of his left wing-base. It is easier for him to (yet again) not take a bold stand and instead complain and criticize.

Secondly, Obama knows he depends on speeches, promises, phrases, and sound bites (and a press that genuflects to him) rather than a record to generate votes. If he places himself in the center of the financial storm he would be expected to perform as a President would: decisively and commandingly. Something he has never really done on the legislative front.
He would be under a microscope-and this is a man who does not like to be judged or scrutinized.

Why put anything on the line-for the good of the country-when by not doing so he helps himself?

Update: Brett McCrae comments:

As many commentators have previously stated, this election was becoming a referendum on Senator Obama. By choosing to suspend his campaign to tend to the economic crisis, Senator McCain has done two things:

 

1)       He put the spotlight squarely on Senator Obama and how he handles this spotlight (with all eyes on him) will determine his fortune in November. So far, he has only demonstrated his penchant for echoing democratic talking points not for action in the face of adversity. I think this moment is prophetic for the prospect of an Obama Administration.

2)       I have mentioned before, Senator has made difficult decisions where he alone must face the consequences of his actions and he has elected, again, to put his country before himself. Simply put, that is leadership and that is what this country needs.