Pew Confirms McCain's Huge Weakness: Bush
by Josh Orton, Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:34:43 PM EDT
A new national Pew poll conducted May 21-25 (n=1505, MOE +/-3%) sheds some light into the challenges ahead for McCain:
Regardless of whether they believe McCain represents the status quo or change, the vast majority of voters want to see a break from the policies of the Bush administration. Roughly three-quarters either say a continuation of Bush's policies would be a bad thing (37%) or that a new direction for the country would be a good thing (36%). Very few say that a continuation of Bush policies would be a good thing (4%) or a different direction would be a bad thing (4%).
Even among Republicans, more than half say McCain represents change and this is a good thing. Only 6% say McCain representing change is a bad thing. Similarly only 10% of GOP voters say McCain continuing Bush's policies would be a good thing.
Among independents, a plurality (40%) say McCain will pursue a new direction and this is a good thing. The most prevalent view among Democrats is that McCain will continue Bush's policies and this is a bad thing (64%).
In addition, the percentage of Americans who think the country is headed in the right direction has hit an all-time low:
Just 18% of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country today, down from 22% in March and 27% at the end of 2007. This represents a new low in 20 years of Pew Research Center polling. Previously, the lowest measure of satisfaction was in September 1993 when 20% of Americans were satisfied with the state of the nation.
McCain isn't sunk yet, though, as there are some indications that Republicans are starting to think McCain is actually a break from Bush:
Voters are evenly divided over whether a McCain presidency would mean a continuation of Bush's policies (44%) or a new direction for the country (45%). However, Republicans are increasingly convinced that McCain will chart a new course. By a margin of 69%-22%, Republicans say McCain represents a new direction rather than a continuation of the Bush era. This is a significant change from just two months ago when 53% of GOP voters said a McCain presidency would result in real change, and 36% said McCain would continue Bush's policies.
The danger for McCain is clear: only 4% (!!!) think a continuation of Bush policies is a good thing. And as I pointed out before, McCain voted with Bush 95% of the time in 2007 and a full 100% of the time in 2008.
The poll also shows Obama's negatives slipping some, possibly as a result of the continued primary.
And this doesn't stop at the presidential level. With nearly the entire US population thinking Bush's policies must end, is it any surprise that the GOP can't keep a lead in a Senate race for Trent Lott's old seat in Mississippi?