Mccain's Independent Problem

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THE PLANK OCTOBER 21, 2008

Mccain's Independent Problem

From an email sent out by GOP pollster Steve Lombardo:

We averaged the party ID for several national polls over the last several months
and found that on average 36% of registered voters claim to be Democrats while
only 28% say they align with the Republican party.  We conduct dozens of
national polls each year and, while our numbers have varied 2-4 points from the
above, they have consistently showed a 6-9 point advantage for Democrats.  Obama
has also closed the long-standing partisan vote gap.  National tracking polls
show both candidates holding 85-87% of their party’s vote, where in recent years
Republicans have enjoyed a 3-5 point advantage.  Combine the two, and this is a
very difficult hurdle for McCain to overcome.  He will need to win independents
by at least 15 – 20 points to overcome the party ID deficit. [Emphasis added.]

And yet, as Andrew notes, independents are turning on McCain in breathtaking numbers: in the last seven weeks, his unfavorables among indys have gone from 24 percent to 44 percent.

--Jason Zengerle

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