Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Poll: McCain's Attacks Backfiring

Michael Cooper and Meghan Thee report in The New York Times that the campaign of aggressive personal attacks by John McCain and Sarah Palin on Barack Obama have harmed their prospects of winning more than helped them according to a recent poll.

The McCain campaign’s recent angry tone and sharply personal attacks on Senator Barack Obama appear to have backfired and tarnished Senator John McCain more than their intended target, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll has found.

After several weeks in which the McCain campaign unleashed a series of strong political attacks on Mr. Obama, trying to tie him to a former 1960s radical, among other things, the poll found that more voters see Mr. McCain as waging a negative campaign than Mr. Obama. Six in 10 voters surveyed said that Mr. McCain had spent more time attacking Mr. Obama than explaining what he would do as president; by about the same number, voters said Mr. Obama was spending more of his time explaining than attacking.

The authors caution that large poll margins have tended to shrink in the last weeks before the election in past campaigns.

--Ballard Burgher

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