Monday, July 28, 2008

Barack Edsel?

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that Barack Obama’s Berlin bounce is fading. Obama now attracts 45% of the vote while John McCain earns 42%. When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 48% and McCain 45%. Both Obama and McCain are viewed favorably by 56% of voters.(...) Obama enjoyed two very strong nights of polling on Thursday and Friday. His lead grew to six-points for results released on Saturday (see recent daily results). However, polling on Saturday and Sunday showed the candidates much closer with single-day results similar to polling from before the Berlin speech. Obama earns the vote from 77% of Democrats, McCain is supported by 82% of Republicans. Unaffiliated voters are evenly divided.
David Seaton's News Links
It simply isn't happening.

Barack Obama was received like a movie star in Europe and John McCain has had what everyone considered his worst week ever, chock full with fluffs and nonevents. Bloomberg's description is perfect:
Obama's eight-day trip to the Middle East war zones and Europe was almost perfect. The Democratic candidate looked and sounded presidential and reassuring, while avoiding missteps.

The contrasts, often unfairly, with McCain at home were stunning. One looking vigorous in a helicopter over Iraq, the other in a golf cart with former President George H. W. Bush -- 155 years of age between them.
...and yet the polls aren't moving.

I titled this post "Barack Edsel", because I'm actually old enough to remember the Ford "Edsel".

It was the classic, textbook case of an enormous marketing blitz designed to sweep the nation, that didn't sweep.

The father of a friend of mine bought one, neither he nor his kid ever lived it down.

For those of you too young to recall the Edsel fiasco, this is how Wikipedia describes it:
The Edsel was introduced amidst considerable publicity on "E Day"—September 4, 1957. It was promoted by a top-rated television special, The Edsel Show on October 13, but it was not enough to counter the adverse public reaction to the car's styling and conventional build. For months Ford had been circulating rumours that led consumers to expect an entirely new kind of car when in reality the Edsel shared its bodywork with other Ford models.
My reading is that at this time, with the economy in the tank, two wars going badly and Maliki shilling for him, Obama should be at least 20 points ahead of McCain.

I saw the other day, that at this point, Jimmy Carter had a 30 percent lead on Gerald Ford. Obama, on the contrary, has the slimmest of leads and hasn't broken the 50% barrier. (cough, sputter, putt, putt)

Contrary to what many think, I believe that the "undecideds" are looking for the merest excuse to swing to McCain. He can fumble and flub all he wants and it doesn't touch his numbers, but any serious gaffe or "October surprise" will sink Barack Obama like a stone.

It seems to me that McCain would have to be found wandering around Washington confused and unable to find his way home to lose this one. DS


Buddhist with an attitude said...

You don't think the Puma movement has anything to do with this?

Buddhist with an attitude said...

You don't think the Puma movement has anything to do with this?

Anonymous said...

Barack Obama looks like the most left-wing candidate the Democrats have fielded in decades, and is of African ancestry, a fact not without relevance in today's America. He'd never have been nominated were it not for the immense frustration with Bush and to a lesser extent all the powers that are, y compris Hillary.

A more mainstram candidate might easily be 20 points ahead of McCain, but the only question that counts is whether Obama can get 50% + 1 of the votes of the electoral college counted.

The Edsel was a top down decision by an industrialist wont to tell his customers they could have a car in any color they desired, as long as that color was black; Obama, for better or worse, is a candidate backed by millions of people from the bottom up. I do not see why the two should be compared.

Stephanie said...

Anonymous, I guess in these matters it sometimes depends on where you’re sitting, but from any seat in the house it must be noted that although millions voted for Obama, as millions voted for Clinton, he had to be hauled over the finish line by the superdelegates because neither had succeeded in winning the nomination outright and large numbers of people persisted in support of Clinton instead of getting behind the frontrunner. It was, in other words, a decision made at the top.

As to Obama being perceived as too liberal or too black to win the election – I agree with you insofar as these will certainly be the explanations from Obama supporters as to why he didn’t win, assuming he doesn’t. And in part they might be true. But it’s also true that Obama is a man from nowhere in a political sense (and in others) and people are uneasy with this.

And I also agree that frustration drove people toward Obama, although Clinton would have served them just as well and probably better.

Anonymous said...

Even if all that you stated were fact based, which I can dispute handily, polls or no polls there is absolutely no way Obama will lose this election, barring a sex scandal with a handicapped midget, or something similarly earth shattering. I understand the medias attempt to make this a horse race, but what many pundits fail to realize is the "grassroots" aspect of the Obama campaign that will win the day...trip overseas, WINNER!

Anonymous said...


What you write makes no sense to me. The Clintons had the patronage that comes with a decade of being governor, 8 years in the White House, a term in the Senate and more behind them, and by all rights Hillary should have won, effortlessly.

That she didn't must in no small part be due to the allegations of criminality that swirl around her husband in particular. To claim that Obama was chosen at the top is misleading; the top chose to give a giantkiller (in the best sense of the word) across the finish line.

That Billary, with all their years to amass favors couldn't get the superdelagates behind them means that the Democratic party knew they had serious problems.

Now the opportunity is Obama's.