Poll: Reverend Wright Not a Factor
Chuck Todd and Domenico Montanaro take a look at the results of a new NBC/WSJ poll and find some surprises. Most notably, about half the people had never heard of Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Pollster Peter Hart calls the NBC/WSJ poll a “myth buster” survey; it really breaks down a lot of the myths we’ve been hearing over the last week like: (1) that the Wright controversy was the beginning of the end for the Obama campaign — certainly not the case, but there’s no telling how much more Wright stuff comes out; (2) It was surprising how few people knew who Wright was (about half). People who followed story, though, were really disturbed (55%); (3) The premise that the Clinton campaign would turn out to be a stronger campaign or stronger among independents. (4) That the bar facing a black candidate would be higher than for a woman or a person over 70; There’s a bar, but not higher; (5) That somehow this Wright story is over. If you look at it overall numbers, you can be misled. Among 29% of ALL voters, they need more answers from Obama. They have hesitations and uncertainties; they want to know, “Is he safe?” — both in the sense of credentials/experience but also in terms of life story. The Wright controversy, the poll indicates, has taken a bit of the shine off Obama, brought him out of the stratosphere, notes pollster Bill McInturff. Clinton also faces a similar amount of uncertainties, but among a different group of people.
But the poll didn’t indicate the past couple of weeks’ news hurt Obama the most; it was Clinton (sniper fire?). She’s sporting the lowest personal ratings of the campaign
It’s always befuddling to learn that most “regular” people are ignoring the stories that the chattering class (myself included) are engrossed with. Sometimes, stories just don’t catch the public’s fancy. Then again, if Obama is the nominee, one expects that some 527 group will run a lot of television ads to see if they can’t change that.
I do believe that the wheels are coming off the Hillary Clinton campaign, though. It’s not just that it’s unlikely that she’ll be able to make up the necessary ground on Obama — we’ve known that for a while — but that she’s coming across as increasingly desperate, if not simply pathetic. That’s the opposite of presidential.