McCain More Popular Than Ever

“John McCain’s 67% favorable rating is the highest of any of the three major candidates running for president, and ties for his highest in Gallup polling history,” Frank Newport reports.

McCain Obama Clinton Favorables Gallup March 2008

The numbers aren’t particularly surprising given that most national polls show McCain running neck-and-neck with Obama and both ahead of Clinton. Given the controversy with Jeremiah Wright and relative good news in Iraq, it’s not surprising that McCain is up a bit and Obama down.

This is somewhat interesting:

McCain gets an extraordinarily high 52% favorable from Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, while Obama gets a 39% favorable rating from Republicans and Republican leaners. Clinton, on the other hand, receives only a 20% favorable rating from Republicans and Republican leaners.

McCain is also helped by the fact that he receives an 87% favorable rating from Republicans, higher than the 80% and 79% that Clinton and Obama, respectively, currently receive from Democrats.

So, not only is McCain’s doing better among the other party and independents than his rivals but he’s done a better job of winning over his own partisans. Given the enmity with which many Republicans held McCain until quite recently, the healing has been quick. One wonders if the same will be true of Democrats once they’ve finally settled on a candidate.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Public Opinion Polls, , , , , , , , ,
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.


  1. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    He’s just in a honeymoon period while the press ignores him. Three things are going to happen: people are going to start hearing about the Keating Five again; People are going to be reminded that they hate campaign finance reform; Obama is going to dismantle McCain in debates. Then we can look at some polls.

  2. SavageView says:

    In addition to the points that JWB has listed, we will see repeatedly the Bush hugs to emphasize that McCain is running to be the Bush third term. We will hear repeatedly about the non-existent Greenspan economics textbook that McCain has to underscore his ignorance of economic policy. And, given today’s gaffe on Iran training Al Qaida, we now have a sound bite to underscore his ignorance of foreign policy.

    But McCain will still have Joyner’s support… but then again Joyner voted for Bush twice.

  3. Hal says:

    <heh&heh; indeed.

    There’s no denying that by November we’re going to be in the middle of a really nasty recession and McCain’s vaunted advantage in National Security(tm) won’t really do much for him under those circumstances. Given his stellar performance in Iraq, while in the shadow of two horrific suicide bombings, it’s almost laughable to think that even that’s his strong suit.

    Lord knows that Democrats are their own worst enemy and they’ve still got a lot of time to keep trying to shoot themselves in the foot, but geebus. McCain has positives because no one is tearing him apart. I’d be stunned if the dude didn’t poll high given the feuding between HRC and Obama. The question is, what’s he going to be like when the pressure starts. We ain’t voting now and – as they say – when you start high, you have no where to go but down.

    Going to be a fun ride seeing him try to pull the old Reagan “loveable old man” bit. HRC, Obama – heck, a Doorknob. It’s going to be the democrat’s to lose and McCain has only one hope: self destruction on the Dem’s part.

    Don’t think I’d like to bet on that, if I was him.

  4. legion says:

    Well, this should be obvious. Since there are no other GOP contenders anymore, the rank-and-file Repub voters are holding their nose & accepting their only non-Dem option – all those “plusses” in McCain’s column now are people who would prefer Romney or someone – anyone – else.