Articles and Analysis


POLL: ABC/Washington Post National - Iraq/Economic Security

ABC News (Iraq/Afghanistan story, charts and results; economic security story, charts and results;
Washington Post (story, results, graphic)

Conducted July 10-13, 2008, n=1,119 adults, margin of sampling error +/-3%

Washington Post:

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the country split down the middle between those backing Sen. Barack Obama's 16-month timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and those agreeing with Sen. John McCain's position that events, not timetables, should dictate when forces come home.

ABC News:

There's a stress gap in America, and financial insecurity's fueling it.

A news ABC News/Washington Post poll finds two-thirds of Americans report at least some kind of stress because of their financial situation. Women -- especially single women -- are significantly less likely than men to describe themselves as financially secure. So are Democrats compared with Republicans, and in an especially big gap, less-educated vs. better-educated Americans.



If I may, I don't like the wording of this question:

"Obama has proposed a timetable to withdraw most US forces from Iraq within 16 months of his taking office. McCain has opposed a specific timetable and said events should dictate when troops are withdrawn. What approach do you prefer - a timetable or no timetable"

The primary problem with this is that it links opposing a timetable with "believing that events should dictate when troops are withdrawn."

The problem with this is that someone could very well believe that "events should dictate" when they should be withdrawn - but still believe that we should withdraw them asap within that caveat, which is *not* McCain's position.

Nothing in the question actually presents McCain's real position on Iraq - it just presents *a* reason of McCain's for opposing Obama's plan.

If they're going to ask this question, why don't they ask a question like "Do you support keeping troops in Iraq until we win, no matter how long it takes?" (though they did sort of ask a version of that question - do you think the US must win in Iraq - and only 34% said yes. However, I don't see anyone writing that this is a repudiation of McCain's position.)

In any case, I don't see any sort of "whose Iraq position do you agree with more" question anywhere. They sort-of kind-of ask about the two plans separately, and ask about "whom do you trust more to handle the war in Iraq," but they never ask "do you agree more with Obama or McCain" as far as I can see.



Agreed. The problem is sooo many of these "news" organizations don't even understand their unitentional push polling.

Further - I would just as strongly disagree with your question. You see - and I have said this for years, as both a veteran and a citizen. I believe we have won the war in Iraq. We as a nation, asked our troops to go to Iraq to sequre any weapons of mass Destruction. They went in and found none. Mission accomplished. Then they were asked to secure the country, remove the ruling Bath party, and depose Saddam. They did. Then they were told they had to capture Sadam, they did. Then they were told they had to secure the country sufficiently to allow for elections of a new government. They did. That was more than 3 years ago. Since then their mission has been stay in Iraq until it is soo peaceable the government can reconcile its warring factions. That was long since accomplished. It is only the government of Iraq that has not acted. This war is long since won. Our soldiers should be allowed to immediately return with the honor and dignity they have earned, and NO ONE - not Dem or Rep or otherwise should ever call what has been accomplished less than victory.

When I ask, when is victory? When McCain or Bush has said so? Otherwise it is defeat and failure. I find that an insult to my intelligence and an assault on the honor of my fellow soldiers.



Why am I not surprised that ABC and the Washington Post are involved in this sort of garbage poll??

Any idiot can see the bias here. This is a fundamental lack of understanding about candidates' positions as well. What a joke.



How does this misrepresent each candidate's plan? Obama has stuck to 16 months (after suggesting he wouldn't, after suggesting he would, with some Samantha Power skepticism about her campaign's stated plan).

McCain will also almost certainly be withdrawing troops. The number of casualties so far in Iraq are 6 (4 if you discount non-hostile deaths) in the month of July - that is quite low, and sets up July to be the best month thus far. Iraq is calling for the withdrawal of US troops, and Bush is likely to speed up withdrawals himself. So McCain is almost certainly going to be dealing with a draw-down of troops. His preference, widely stated is that such a draw-down be based on events on the ground. If events in Iraq turned for the worse, McCain would surely stop withdrawing troops.

The only rubric by which Obama's position is not represented by this poll, is if you assume that Obama plans on ignoring his own timetable.

There are some nuances not mentioned either - Obama called for a residual force to remain in Iraq, while McCain prefers permanent US bases.

Moreover, the poll mentioned the names of the candidates which, I think, really gets at the aim of the poll - seeing who people trust on Iraq, or seeing the impact of some description of the Iraq policy of both candidates on the electorate.



This Iraq timetable/withdraw results are consistent with other similar polls. If one thinks such is "garbage"... how about some refutation using facts or other polls that indicate differently?

How can someone have an understanding of Obama's stance on Iraq when he is in the process of "refining" it? Many people (including Obama supporters) are confused. He even had to hold TWO press conferences in one day (last week) to explain that his newly stated positions are actually the same positions from before. Obama's once had a VERY strong stance of getting troops out of Iraq immediately (16-month time table), but now has nuanced that position. (This is not a biased opinion.. but rather fact.)



Oh, more BS from undecided/eternal, what a shocker!

Refining what, nickleberry? He is just emphasizing certain parts of his plan more now.

Now to debunk the meme that this was a "fair poll":



Lookee lookee, someone has already done it for me! Another beatdown of eternal and undecided. My work here is done......



Rassmusen: Tuesday, July 15, 2008
"However, McCain fares better against Obama than he does against two other prominent Democrats. New York Senator Hillary Clinton leads McCain by eight points, 50% to 42%. Former Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2000, leads McCain 50% to 43%.

These numbers help explain why Election 2008 is competitive even though events so heavily favor the Democrats -- because the Republicans are on course to nominate their strongest possible general election candidate but the Democrats are not...."



I saw that Rasmussen poll, which in my opinion is pretty absurd. Why? Well, of course that Al Gore or Hillary would fare well against McCain since both of them are not under attack nor in the media's eye. Talking about politians who are not in the fire, is like talking about dead people. When someone dies, everyone talks nicely about the person. I was left wondering why the Rasmussen poll did not ask for Rudy Guliani in McCain's place. I bet that Guliani would have done better than McCain against the democrat. But, this hypothetical are just absurd. Nonetheless, it gives brief happiness to some "sore loser."



poor marctx, confused about the election? here, have some knowledge.....


competitive race? good one.

to draw absolutely idiotic assumptions like clinton would be a better candidate is simply disturbing. guess what the poll would show if clinton managed to "win" the nomination? yup, a whole mess of obama supporters wouldn't be voting for clinton. right now, there are a bunch of hillary crazies out there that still don't understand that SHE LOST. they are bitter and so depress the obama numbers versus mccain. Not hard to figure out.

Gore is just well liked and was my choice if he would have run. Why wouldn't he poll well?



An "opinion" from a biased pro-Obama blogger on Huffington Post about an alleged bias of others is hardly a reliable non-biased source. Why not cite Keith Olbermann too?

Hillary and Al Gore are two of the best known politicians in America and both have been "under attack" with "heavy fire" for decades... so the excuse that they are not targets at this very moment does not fly.

From the primary polls it was consistent that more Clinton supporters would not vote for Obama than vice versa. So it can be reasonably that some angry Obama supporters would not have any more impact than angry Hillary supporters.

Note also that the Quinnipiac Poll showed 56% of Democrats and 57% of blacks would like to see Hillary as VP if given a choice so she is not so hated as some like to surmise.

Also note that the so-called Reagan Democrats that supported Hillary were NEVER going to vote for Obama anyway.



The Rasmussen Poll that marctx referenced also indicates that the President Bush's "third term" is not being linked to McCain from the voters viewpoint.



"The Rasmussen Poll that marctx referenced also indicates that the President Bush's "third term" is not being linked to McCain from the voters viewpoint."

Yeah, since FISA , Obush is a common term.

McCains favorablity ratings are outstanding for a known politico.

It's not going to work to try to tie McCain to bush, or Obama to Ayers.



In my opinion Hillary's supporters were all huffing and puffing and nothing else. Why? According to Quinnipiac McCain is getting the same exact percentage of support from democrats that Obama is getting for republicans. The sad reality is that after all the fuzz about McCain benefiting from those democrats against Obama, the crossover vote for both candidate is the exact same.

I think that it would have been helpful to those democrats against Obama to keep their numbers for McCain up. However, they are not supporting McCain any more than republicans supporting Obama.

If democrats were deserting from the Obama column in greater numbers, maybe Obama would have considered Hillary, but why should he be worried about it if he is losing 10% of democrats, just as McCain is losing 10% of republicans, which is around the normal crossover in every election. The sad reality about McCain support among democrats surely hurts McCain.

Remember that McCain was dreaming about bringing those people home. Remember the town hall meetings to woo Hillary supporters, remember Carly Fiorina, remember the Hillary picture in McCain website, remember Abba's video in the McCain website, remember the "Citizens for McCain" with Joe Lieberman, and at the end he is getting the same exact percentage of democrats as Barack is getting republicans. After all the effort McCain has put into trying to bring those people over his camp, he is getting the exact same support Barack is getting from republicans, but with the difference that Barack has not done anything extra to bring them over.

The reality is that McCain now understands that his chances rest on Independents and those are the exact people who don't like Hillary. So, no wonder Barack is not thinking about Hillary.

Just imagine: If Barack were losing around around 20% of democrats to McCain, the double of republicans going for Obama, and Barack was behind McCain among independents and independents love Hillary. In this dreamy scenario it would make sense for Obama to pick Hillary, but that's not the case. As far as the democratic crossover is the normal, keep in mind that 13% went for Bush in 2004, and cancels each other out with republican support for Obama everything is fine for the Obama camp. All he has to do is to keep the fight for those independents, yeah, the very same people who DOES NOT want HILLARY on the ticket.



In my opinion this is what is causing McCain trouble:

a. The economy

Obama McCain
July 54 35
June 52 36
May 48 38
March 49 37

On the one hand, Obama is steadly cementing the idea that he is the guy skilled with handling the economy.

d. The U.S. campaign against terrorist
Obama McCain
July 43 49
June 39 53
May 34 55
March 33 58

On the other hand, Obama has steadly improved in one of his biggest weaknesses, national security.

It seems that Obama has done his job of convencing Americans that he is capable of protecting the country against terrorist; however, McCain doesn't look to be doing the same convincing americans that he is going to help the economy.



Another example that shows that McCain doesn't get his message across as well as Obama:

26. Do you think (Obama/McCain) has or has not done enough to explain why he
wants to be president?

Has done enough/ Has not done enough

Obama 69 27
McCain 60 36

Again, McCain is not explaining himself before the american people. He is not getting any traction with the economy; meanwhile, Barack seems to be owning the issue more and more while also bringing his message in national security. This is what a good campaign does!!!



I stated no opinion about the poll that showed Clinton doing better than Obama. It's just funny to see silly Obama supporters dispute an independent poll. Did you see the 72% to 48% percent lead McCain has with commander in chief preference? Obviously for me to point it out that I'm a former Hillary supporter...It just gives me a chuckle. Obama still has a good chance to win. I'm just going to support the only qualified candidate and let the chips fall where they may. Every poll and comparison to Obama versus Clinton shows Clinton would have done better...but you won. Good luck...not!

Clinton supporters for McCain. Don't gamble with our future.



Let's do a little history check:

"In September 1992, only 27% of registered voters said they had confidence in Bill Clinton's ability to handle an international crisis, whereas 62% expressed confidence in George H.W. Bush."

"The Bush reelection effort was built around a set of ideas traditionally used by incumbents: experience and trust. It was in some ways a battle of generations. George H. W. Bush, 68, probably the last president to have served in World War II, faced a young challenger in Bill Clinton who, at age 46, had never served in the military and had participated in protests against the Vietnam War. In emphasizing his experience as president and commander-in-chief, Bush also drew attention to what he characterized as Clinton's lack of judgment and character."

Sounds familiar?

It seems that again: History will repeat itself. The military man will face the no-military man. The military man is viewed as a comander-in-chief but the non-military man is seen as the economy czar. Who would americans elect? We'll see in Nov. This election looks more and more like Daddy's Bush vs. Bill Clinton. Will history repeat itself? ....



New York Times
Published: August 2, 1992

"The primary reason the Bush campaign launched a foreign policy attack on Bill Clinton last week is that it doesn't have much else going for it at the moment. As recent Gallup and Harris Polls show, handling foreign policy is an area, perhaps the only one, where the public still has more confidence in Mr. Bush than in Mr. Clinton, and by a big margin. In a July 17-19 Harris Poll, for example, Mr. Bush was preferred 64 to 28 percent as more likely to be effective in foreign policy. "

Isn't incredibly similar? Obviously that McCain is running an incumbent campaign. McCain's strategy is extremely similar to daddy's Bush's back in 1992. I think that this will be a problem for McCain because this is a "change election," an election against the incumbent. Just as Bill Clinton demonstrated back in 1992, when the people are hurting, the economy outweighs foreign policy. If McCain convinces the American people that he can handle the economy, he makes it. If not, then there is a big problem. Just remember James Carville, It's the economy stupid!!!



[comment deleted]



Really, huffpo is biased? Hmmm, who broke the bitter story again? Funny how you can't dispute the story written on huffpo so you decide to slander the site. what a joke. it's like arguing with the trolls on fox news....


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