Obama America’s Football Buddy

A new poll finds that a majority of people would prefer to watch a football game with Barack Obama but that they’d settle for John McCain.

People would rather watch a football game with Barack Obama than with John McCain — but by barely the length of a football. Obama was the pick over McCain by a narrow 50 percent to 47 percent, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll released Friday that generally mirrored each presidential candidate’s strengths and weaknesses with voters. Women, minorities, younger and unmarried people were likelier to prefer catching a game with Obama while men, whites, older and married people would rather watch with McCain.

Amazingly silly, yes, but these sort of questions are a good proxy for trust and likability. The football variant is unusual; one normally sees it as “have a beer with.” Like it or not, those kind of gut reactions are how most people chose political leaders.

What’s particularly noteworthy, though, isn’t Obama’s lead (it’s only barely outside the poll’s margin of error) but that both candidates are still viewed so favorably this late in a narrow, increasingly negative race.

RealClearPolitics has been tracking candidate favorability for months and both men have consistently had much higher favorables than unfavorables and been above the 50 percent mark.  Indeed, both actually got more popular over the summer as people got to “know” them and they’ve both only fallen slightly from peaks around 60.

UPDATE:  I misread the YahooNews headline and reversed the order in the original version of this.  I’ve now corrected it in the headline and the text.  The analysis remains the same, thankfully.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Actually, I’d be far too afraid of McCain keeling over or falling asleep during the game…

  2. Anderson says:

    Uh, JJ, did you read your own quote?

    50% prefer to watch with Obama, 47% with McCain.

  3. anjin-san says:

    People would rather watch a football game with Barack Obama than with John McCain

    This would seem to contradict your headline and lead in.

  4. Boyd says:

    I think James got started on his pre-game beer a little early.

  5. Rick Almeida says:

    Ok, it’s not just me.

  6. Eneils Bailey says:

    Can’t think of many things I would want to do with BHO.

    John McCain could call me at 3AM and ask me to bust down and ride through the gates of hell with him.
    The only question would be be, “when can you pick me up?”

    BHO is a sissy puppy who knows less about the world and has laid at Society’s teat all his life.

    McCain has kicked that bitch in the belly.

  7. Anderson says:

    Shorter Eneils:

    “I live in a fantasy world of my own devising … AND I VOTE!”

  8. Steven Donegal says:

    McCain would make me drink Budweiser. Shudder. Plus I’m sure he would call me his friend, at which point I would definitely throw the remote at him.

  9. Eneils Bailey says:

    Anderson:

    I have no idea of what you are alluring to:
    If intended to be an insult; you did not disturb me.

    If intended to disparage; no harm taken.

    I guess the purpose of JJ’s post was to solicit comments about the two candidate. I gave my honest opinion. Maybe you should concentrate on giving your opinion about the candidates more than slack-jawing an opinion from a person you don’t agree with.

  10. rodney dill says:

    I wouldn’t want to watch football with anyone that talks as much as a politician.

  11. Anderson says:

    I have no idea of what you are alluring to:

    I expressly disavow, without reservation, ANY attempt to allure Eneils.

    And I’ll kick the bitch in the belly who says otherwise.

  12. Eneils Bailey says:

    That’s funny.

    Anderson, you are right, typo errors can change the meaning of everything.

  13. anjin-san says:

    Enis has probably seen the plunge in Palin’s favorable’s, hence the hyperbole….

  14. Eneils Bailey says:

    All the hyperbole will be on election day… When the MSM and democrat party goes into emotional overdrive…

  15. anjin-san says:

    All the hyperbole will be on election day… When the MSM and democrat party goes into emotional overdrive…

    Yup. Winning can do that to you 🙂

  16. G.A.Phillips says:

    I would like to play football with 0bama, and a few of you guys can be on his team,tackle no pads.