Monday, February 04, 2008

Obama: Inspiring AND Polls Say Strongest Candidate

February 4, 2008, 12:40 p.m.

I'm Voting for Michelle

There was a really extraordinary event in Los Angeles yesterday that I just happened to catch by accident as I was scanning the channels.

Although Barack Obama was not there, the event was billed by C-SPAN as "Obama for President Rally at UCLA (February 3, 2008)." Today it is available from the site under "Recent Programs." If when you check that site it is no longer listed there, through the miracle of C-SPAN and its Archival collection you can watch it on small screen RealPlayer at your leisure.

It was remarkable by many measures -- the size of the crowd, the presence (and Obama endorsements) from Caroline Kennedy, Oprah, Stevie Wonder, and Maria Shriver.

I wasn't able to watch all of the event that runs over an hour (1:23:45). What I did see, and that I found one of the most impressive and moving campaign speeches about a candidate I've ever heard, were the remarks of Barack Obama's wife, Michelle.

If you'd like to watch her presentation, you can slide the control in RealPlayer to 23:50, where she begins and listen through to 57:07 where she introduces the surprise "added starter," Maria Shriver (who is, of course, the wife of California's Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has endorsed Senator John McCain).

Listening to Michelle Obama's speech provides even more insight into why the polls this morning are revealing what they do.

My support of Obama is not based on polls, or who stands the best chance of winning in November. It's not often that my political choices end up as winners -- which is not surprising since they have never been selected for that reason.

But in this case -- at least at this time, and I'm fully aware, to paraphrase the song, "Oh, it's a long, long time from February to November" -- for the benefit of those who do put much more emphasis on ability to win than I do, it appears that Obama also happens to have a great many advantages over Senator Hillary Clinton from that perspective as well.

NPR reported this morning ["Morning Edition," Feb. 4] and makes available from its Web site a poll it commissioned from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, conducted January 29-31, 2008, published February 4, 2008, of 1000 likely voters.

It includes such things as the trends on approval ratings for the president and Congress, issues thought most important by voters, and so forth. But here's what it reveals about Obama and Clinton.

Given a choice between Clinton and McCain, Clinton loses: 48% to 45%. Among Democrats, 9% prefer McCain over Clinton (only 5% of Republicans prefer Clinton over McCain). Among independents McCain has a 26 point spread: 58% go with McCain, and 32% with Clinton.

When the choice is between Obama and McCain, this poll shows the result to be a statistical dead heat: 48% McCain, 47% Obama (although other polls, which also show Clinton losing to McCain, show Obama with a slight edge over McCain -- or in the case of yesterday's Zogby poll, below, a rapid rise in support for Obama over Clinton).

Obama pulls 48% of the independents (compared to Clinton's 32%), a tie with McCain, who also gets 48%. Among Republicans 13% say they'll vote for Obama (compared with Clinton's 5%); although 18% of Democrats would vote for McCain if the choice is Obama (compared with Clinton's more favorable loss of 9%).

If Romney were the Republicans' nominee, Clinton would win by 5 points (49-44%) but Obama would win by over twice that (53-41%).

When all voters are asked how their opinions have changed during the primary contests, 59% are "somewhat" or "much" less willing to support Clinton than they were before (to 38% "somewhat" or "much" more willing to support her) -- a drop of 21 percentage points. For Obama, it is 52% more willing> and 42% less willing -- a 10 point gain compared to Clinton's 21 point loss.

(For the Republicans, McCain gains 6 points, Romney (like Clinton) has a 22 point loss.)

The daily tracking poll run by Zogby for C-SPAN and Reuters, is even more favorable for Obama this morning [Feb. 4]:

Pollster John Zogby: "A very big single day for Obama in California (49%-32% over Clinton) and Missouri (49%-39% single day). In California, Obama has widened his lead in the north and pulled ahead in the south. He leads among Democrats and Independents, liberals and moderates, men (by 21 points),among whites, and African Americans. He holds big leads among voters who say Iraq and immigration are their top concerns. Clinton holds a big lead among Hispanics (though Obama has made some inroads), women, voters over 65, and has pulled ahead among those citing the economy. "In Missouri, Obama leads two to one in the St. Louis region, and has solid leads with independents, voters under 50, and African Americans. He also leads among Missouri women."
It looks like we finally have a race where one can vote with their head and their heart and still have a real shot at having gone with a winner.

In politics, it just doesn't get any better than that.

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Anonymous said...

Abuse of Power...when it comes to Obama vs.The Clintons the issue is clear. Who works with people? who manipulates people and is self serving? Who thrives on power vs. who works in the service of empowering and leading others. Character, Integrity, VALUES. I look at Bill behind Hillary and the blend is worrisome. Bill Clinton wasted political capital on his own personal addiction. Remember who swept Congress in "94" and why? Who thinks, reflects and acts? Who has hissy fits, crys and attacks... Hillary and Bill. Yes, it is about character...personality and interpersonal strengths to lead and values to make the right choices.

Anonymous said...

The data in this post is somewhat flawed.

Zogby's record is getting bad. He badly blew NH. He missed on the 2004 presidential vote.

CNN shows Clinton ahead of McCain:

Obama does seem to be slightly better than Clinton on most national polls.

Anonymous said...

Obama surfaces in Rekzo's federal corruption case
Source confirmed Obama is the unnamed "political candidate" referred to in document which outlines case against Rezko
January 20, 2008, by Davy McKinney, Natasha Korecki, Chris Fusco and Tim novak Staff Reporters, Chicago Sun-Times
THIS ARTICLE IS LOCATED AT:,obama20web.article