Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

This subheader from the article writing up the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll says it all:

Bush -- not Wright or Bill Clinton -- is voters' main concern

Taking a look at the data from the poll (.pdf), 43 percent of respondents indicated that John McCain's close ties with George W. Bush and his policies was a major concern. Compare that with the 36 percent saying that Hillary Clinton's willingness to change positions on issues like NAFTA and driver's licenses (really, that's what they're polling?) and the 34 percent saying Barack Obama's "bitter" comments were a major concern. Only in fourth place, just 1 point ahead of Clinton's truthfulness and McCain's wavering on issues, was Obama's relationship with Wright, as well as Bill Ayers.

These numbers could be read in the other direction, no doubt. Indeed, about a third of voters are concerned about Obama's relationship with Wright (remember, this poll was in the field during the height of the coverage of Wright's comments late last week and early this week) and his poorly worded comments about rural America. Although it's not necessarily a problem if a candidate has trouble getting a particular third of the vote in the country -- there remain a whole lot more voters who do not think these negatives on Obama are major concerns than those that do -- reconciling with a significant portion of the American public is important for Obama, both in the short run and the longer run.

That all said, the real takeaway from these numbers is that, surprise surprise, George W. Bush -- and specifically John McCain's close ties with him -- remain a major problem, not only for McCain but also for the Republican Party as a whole. (Note, for instance, that the Democrats lead the Republicans by 15 points in the generic congressional ballot question.) And considering that Bush will very much continue to be on the national stage through the coming months -- in a way that Reverend Wright, and Obama's comments, and Clinton's perceived negatives -- will not.

Tags: 2008, George W. Bush, Jeremiah Wright, John McCain (all tags)

Comments

15 Comments

Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

And considering that Bush will very much continue to be on the national stage through the coming months -- in a way that Reverend Wright, and Obama's comments, and Clinton's perceived negatives -- will not

- They would all be part of the fall campaign . Obama/Wright is already featuring in ads in Southern states .

I believe Wright would be equally in play as Bush .

I went to grab some groceries and while I was pushing the buggy and picking up some soda ,Wright was all I heard folks talking about on the line.

by lori 2008-04-30 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

I bet you were upset about that.

by brit 2008-04-30 04:03PM | 0 recs
Voters Care About Healthcare, Not Obama

Hillary's healthcare plan can mean thousands more dollars in the pocketbook per year than Obamas for anybody with a pre-existing condition who is not in a group plan. Her healthcare plan WILL be affordable, and not just 'fairly priced' as Obama's is supposed to be after he starts looking at the problem in 2012 (probably not reaching healthcare until his putative SECOND TERM)

Just say NO to Obama's callous attitude towards giving the people of America peace of mind, and his right wing healthcare advisor
Jim Cooper

ODrama: NOT THE BEST CHOICE RIGHT NOW!

by architek 2008-05-01 04:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

The poll does not mesh with your beliefs.

by mefck 2008-04-30 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

Kingsport is not exactly an Obama - or Democratic - stronghold. I bet most of those folks in the grocery line will be voting for McCain.

FWIW, in my barber shop just down the road in Maryville nobody talked politics at all this morning. Just fishing, the I-40 closure in Knoxville, and the cool weather.

by elrod 2008-04-30 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

Just fishing, the I-40 closure in Knoxville, and the cool weather.

- Yeah the weather is turning in Tennessee , isn't it ?

snug as a bug

by lori 2008-04-30 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

It was quite cool today for April 30. I bet it was cooler up your way. I'm not complaining after last August. Let summer take its own sweet time.

by elrod 2008-04-30 05:43PM | 0 recs
McCain sucks.

Read Schecter's book.

by heresjohnny 2008-04-30 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

Really. What's the matter with people?

Let's get some perspective here

Who cares about a two term president and his party who took your country into a terrible wasteful war which most observers think was a bigger foreign policy mistake than Vietnam?

Who care that' republicans have molested your constitution, and with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo made the US a global brand for torture?

Who cares about the scandal of sub prime mortgages which are causing a wave of recessions across the world? Or the fact that 40 million Americans have no healthcare?

No, no, no. These are all just smears and distractions, innuendoes and guilt by association.

Bush and his party and their catastrophic mismanagement of everything from Katrina to tax cuts are unimportant. The public doesn't care about them...

What they really care about is a local preacher in a church in Chicago who said Goddam America a couple of times.

Oh. Or was that McCain's pastor.

This is getting ridiculous. I initially saw the emergence of two amazing candidates from the democratic party as a sign of American political reawakening.

Now this triviality and character assassination is in danger of proving it's comatose

by brit 2008-04-30 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

People need to stop being so afraid about the GOP smear machine because it will come against our candidate no matter who it is.  We need to nominate who we think is best for America and then work our asses off to prove the doubters wrong.

I actually don't think that will be a difficult road this year with the way McCain hgas embraced Bush over and over again.

by mefck 2008-04-30 04:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

Couldn't agree more, and constantly roughing up one of your own candidates (it only seems to be one at the moment) under the sole rationale, well, the Republicans will do it in the fall, is a bit like kicking a prize fighter before he takes the ring: i.e. both vicious and stupid, which is some feat

by brit 2008-04-30 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Hate Bush, Not Wright

the Wright flap is all media hype. The public won't care about it at all. The problem is that the media won't let the public hear about anything else. Its an entire media invention to discredit a democrat and distract voters from the bush/cheney/mccain/republican disaster that has so thoroughly ruined our country in so many extraordinary ways.

by gak 2008-04-30 04:30PM | 0 recs
Not surprising

I've thought all along that voters who cite Wright as a problem are voters who didn't like Obama in the first place. There was, perhaps, some doubt back in March when the issue first came up. But Obama's handling of it in Philadelphia showed how his campaign so differs from the views of Wright. The events of the last week only confirm those differences and set up an easy Sista Soldjah.

by elrod 2008-04-30 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

This is entirely true. Bush's name will on the ballot and no mistake about it. All that said, we should not underestimate McCain, rightly or wrongly he has enormous respect out there. Even I feel it and I wouldn't dream of voting for him.  

by ottovbvs 2008-04-30 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Voters Care About Bush, Not Wright

He's working as hard as he can to eliminate that respect, though. His recent policy ideas are toothless and several years old. I gotta say, there might actually be something to that age thing.

by vcalzone 2008-04-30 05:08PM | 0 recs

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