The McCain campaign’s more aggressive tone is prompting pushback from the public: Registered voters by a broad margin now believe John McCain is more focused on attacking his opponent than on addressing the issues in the 2008 presidential election.
Barack Obama, by contrast, is perceived even more widely as sticking to the issues, this new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds – a striking point of differentiation between the two. More differences will be reported in the full release of this ABC/Post poll on ABCNews.com at 12:01 a.m. and Good Morning America on Monday morning.
While McCain’s image as the more negative of the two is not new, it’s sharpened considerably, coinciding with his campaign’s more pointed criticisms of Obama in the last few weeks, including Sarah Palin's accusation that Obama’s been "palling around with terrorists."
Registered voters by a 24-point margin, 59-35 percent, now say McCain is more focused on attacking his opponent rather than addressing the issues. That’s grown from a roughly even 48-45 percent split on this question in late August.
There's far less criticism of the tone of Obama's campaign: Registered voters by 68-26 percent say he's mainly addressing the issues, not attacking his opponent, a slightly more positive rating than in August.
Apparently most voters are focused on issues themselves, which explains why the favorability rating and overall poll numbers have dropped for McCain and risen for Obama. Right-wingers insist that McCain has merely failed to "explain" why Obama's associations matter, though one would think the one-two combo of commercials highlighting those relationship and Palin and McCain running around implying Obama hates America would do the trick. The McCain campaign may gearing up to jump the shark entirely and "refocus" the campaign (McCain might figure that having to rebuke his own fervant followers at campaign rallies is not the way to win at this point) and it will be amusing to watch right-wing pundits and bloggers try to keep up if so.