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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/20/08

New Zogby/Reuters Poll: Obama Down 5, in an Almost Perfect Storm

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Obama in Deep Doo Doo

Between the bashing he's been receiving from dirtball Jerome Corsi, his low profile during the Russian invasion of Georgia and his movement to the right, Obama is in deep doo doo, according to a Zogby Reuters poll. The poll shows McCain ahead of Obama by five points, with Obama losing ground with some of his most important bases.

Obama Support


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Ages <35




College Grads




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Income <$50,000








Pollster John Zogby observed, "Since Obama returned from his overseas trip, it seems like McCain has thrown all the punches. Clearly, the blows have landed. In recent days, Obama is fighting back, going after McCain on the economy, the issue voters care about most. McCain has changed the dynamic of the race heading into the two conventions. That puts more pressure on Obama to go to Denver and effectively define himself and McCain."

It is not unreasonable to apply another consideration to current polls-- the potential for the "Bradley Effect" to kick in. Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles, and a black, ran for governor of California. Polls predicted he woudl win,. but many white voters who said in polls that they'd vote for him lied. For Obama to win, he needs more than a small poll margin predicting victory. He needs a margin big enough to overcome the Bradley effect. White voters will lie and say they will vote for him when they really won't.

Obama may be hitting a perfect storm of bad news this week. The approval for the Dem led congress is down to 9%, down to 6% for independents and only 12% for DEMOCRATS!

Zogby reports, "Likely voters remain pessimistic about the direction in which the country is headed, with 70% who believe the nation is on the wrong track compared with 73% who said the same in July. Democrats are most likely to take a negative view of the countrys direction, with 86% who now say the country is on the wrong track, a slight increase from 84% who said the same last month. Fewer political independents now think the country is on the wrong track, 73% this month, falling from 82% who said the same in July. Republicans are also less likely to think the country is headed in the wrong direction, with just over half (51%) who now hold that view, compared to 55% last month."

. Bush's approval is slightly up from 25 to 29% approval overall, though one good sign is that for independents, Bush's approval has fallen from 27% in July to 22% in August.

Lower gas prices, the bump in the dollar, and distractions from bad news as the MSM have focused on the feel good coverage of the Beijing Olympics may be contributing to this McCain bump. But that would suggest that Obama's previous leads have been based more on dissatisfaction with Bush and the current state of affairs rather than positive support for Obama. It may indicate that it's not Obama, it's the change he offers that's driven his positive positive poll results before.

On the progressive, further left side of the aisle, there is not a lot of great enthusiasm for Obama. There IS hope. Most progressives knew all along that Obama was not a progressive or even a liberal-- that he was a centrist democrat, not far from bluedog. That's why he was not the choice of most of the progressives and liberals in the blogosphere. When the primary contest narrowed down to Obama and Clinton, with Obama being more of an unknown, and Clinton, having a long history as a centrist, even right wing Democratic Leadership Council Democrat, it was a natural step for progressives to take to back the less right wing candidate. But enthusiastic is not the word one would apply to progressive interest in Obama. They, for the most part, see him as far superior to Republican McCain, but also a disappointment, because of his soft stance on continuing the war, his betrayal on FISA immunity for telecoms, his position on gun control and other examples where he moved towards the right. There's a saying about centrists that progressives often cite-- "People would rather vote for real Republicans than Democrats who act like Republicans.

The fact that Obama is even losing among women is very bad news for Obama, as women are among the strongest demographic for supporting Democrats. Now, this number change once the final convention votes are over and Hillary is officially out of the race. I have a feeling there's still a strong, pent up holding back by a considerable percentage of Hillary supporters-- which will ultimately go Obama's way.

Obama's strongest base is among young voters, under 25. But these are the most unreliable voters and recent polls suggest their intentions to vote are dropping quickly. These poll results look a lot worse if you factor in the reality that among those under 25 voters, a daunting percentage will, instead of voting, stay in their dorm playing on-line multiplayer or the lastest shoot-em up or music video games.

Another point where Obama is in trouble is third party candidates. The Zogby poll asked about Libertarian Bob Barr, independent Ralph Nader and "someone else," the response that pulled more than Barr or Nader. The someone else Obama has nipping at his heels is very likely green party candidate Cynthia McKinney. She's the candidate most often mentioned by progressives who say there's no difference between Dems and Republicans, who say they will no longer vote for the "lesser of two evils." .






Barack Obama



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Former Democratic congresswoman McKinney was defeated in her last Democratic primary by a much more right-leaning, AIPAC supporting democrat. I'm convinced she was one of those rare incumbents booted out of office because of her opposition to US policy towards Israel. I don't think that's the main reason progressives are supporting her. It's one factor, but most are supporting her because she is not what they consider a corporatist who has "sold out to corporate interests."

This race is still Obama's to lose. There is a huge amount of dissatisfaction with George Bush and the Republican brand, but Republicans are very good at turning voters against Democrats, especially those who don't fight back and who those who try to act like Republicans. As soon as Obama returned from his vacation, he started talking about the economy-- using language almost identical to what Paul Krugman advised that he use in his latest NY Times column.

It looks like Obama is depending upon his political advisors to bring him to victory. Kerry did the same thing. They may have helped him play the primary game, with effective caucus and delegate strategy and gamesmanship defeating Hillary, but to win the presidency, you have to do more. You have to go all the way, showing who you are, what you stand for and what you'll fight for. Mike Dukakis demonstrated how successful Democrats are when they refuse to get tough and fight. Obama better do what he's said and prove to McCain that he doesn't know who he's dealing with-- and make sure McCain finds out soon that Obama is tough enough to fight McCain-- which might show Americans he's tough enough to stand up to our enemies. That will help with the male vote. To get the women's vote Obama needs to show he's a real Democrat, not a Republican lite.

One issue that's a powerful wedge issue Democrats should be using full force this cycle is birth control. The Bush administration is trying to lump birth control/contraception with abortion. Obama and every Democrat running for office should be making it their number one issue after the economy, forcing Republican opponents to take positions on health insurance funding for contraceptives. This has already tripped up McCain, when he was asked why Viagra should be covered and not birth control. It's an issue that drives a huge wedge between pro-life supporters and women who believe in birth control-- an issue that could further divide the evangelical right and weaken the right's hold on them.

This is just one poll, but it captures a moment when a number of forces oppose Obama's favor. It could happen again, in November, particularly with the help of Bush and the right wing's predilection for October Surprises. Obama has the potential to overcome it, but this poll should be a wake-up call that he's not going to coast in and he's not going to do it selling out his progressive base. Most contemporary presidents have won by less than two percentage points. Obama is now losing 5% to Nader and "someone else" and he's losing to women. He better figure out fast how to turn those two factors around.


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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity scheduled for release May 22, 2019

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 


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