Obama – McCain Tied Among Independents
John McCain and Barack Obama are tied overall and, more crucially, tied among registered voters who call themselves Independents, a new Gallup poll finds.
Gallup’s Lydia Saad concludes,
In terms of building a winning coalition this November, McCain and Obama each start with nearly universal support from their political bases in the Republican and Democratic Parties. Initial Republican concerns that McCain would have difficulty holding conservatives have not panned out, nor have fears that Hillary Clinton’s supporters would defect from the party in droves should Obama be nominated.
As anyone who seriously studied American political history should have taken as a given.
This seems to focus the contest primarily on political independents, territory long known to be a McCain strength, but also fertile for Obama with his strong appeal to young, generally independent, voters. Gallup’s weekly aggregate trends document how close the election has been, and remains, among the politically unanchored middle, as well as among certain age, educational, and religious subgroups. If the race starts to change, it will most likely do so in these places.
That’s almost axiomatic, however. Party loyalists are, well, loyal to the party. The only question for partisans is whether they’ll show up to vote. Those with no fixed preference (especially as determined by their actual voting patterns rather than what they tell pollsters — a lot more people claim to be “Independents” than are actually that) decide close elections.