Obama’s bounce

Seems Hillary Clinton’s delay in conceding and calling for unity hasn’t prevented Barack Obama from getting the expected bounce as the Democratic Party closed ranks around its candidate.

Yesterday’s (Sunday US-time) Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows Obama gaining an eight-point lead over McCain. Obama now leads 48% to 40%. When “leaners” are included, he leads 50% to 43%. Last Tuesday, the candidates were tied at 46%.

Let’s hope Rasmussen have got this one right!

[Update: Looks like they did. Gallup reports a similar “bump up”, as the HuffPo puts it.]

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One Response to “Obama’s bounce”

  1. Paul G. Buchanan Says:

    The November election remains for Obama to lose, not McCain to win. However, it appears that the margin of victory will be reduced considerably compared to that had Clinton won the Democratic nomination (although having her on the ticket could mitigate the loss of HC supporters). Events in the interim will be decisive–if more skeletons come out of either candidate’s closet (and they most likely will), public opinion can shift dramatically. Also never underestimate the chances that the Bush administration (however wounded) will stage some form of vote-rallying diversion to help McCain’s chances (such as picking a fight with a relatively soft “enemy” like Hugo Chavez–Iran is a much more risky target). But then again, that “bounce” can work both ways depending on how successful it is.

    Obama needs to make the economy the ONLY issue in the election, because there his vague promises of change resonate more immediately in the recessionary climate of the moment. McCain, in contrast, needs to keep the election grounded in the US global role, arguing that the economy will improve in the measure that the US re-asserts its leadership position on the global stage. The former argument allows Obama to be equivocal on the timetable for US military withdrawal from Iraq while at the same time pushing a more soft power approach to the international scene. The latter argument allows McCain to open space around his “Bush lite” economic agenda while posing the (real or imagined) economic and physical risks involved in a diminished US international presence. In any event, the race may well get a lot closer as we get down to the wire.

    One unpleasant thought that must be addressed, but which no one in the US political class or punditry want to touch: the chances that there is an attempt on Obama’s life either before or after the election (assuming that he wins). Like it or not, the US track record on presidential assassination attempts tends to run in cycles in which “progressive” candidates are targeted (both Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan were shot at by certified nut cases without political agendas). What is worth noting is that such attacks come from the progressive candidate’s left flank (Oswald and Sirhan were both disgruntled about perceived right-leaning tendencies in JFK and RFK, assuming one does not believe in conspiracy theories). Thus, an attack on Obama would not be unpredicted, but its origins may come from his left as well as from the (racist) right. For those interested in pursuing more militant agendas that would serve to divide the electorate and expose whatever contradictions in US society or policy that they are aggrieved about, the feasibility of s/he/them launching an attack on Obama cannot be discounted. Given that many in the US have the means and material to do so, even the Secret Service admits that it cannot deter or prevent a committed attacker, especially if the latter is suicidal. I hate to say it, but given its modern track record, the US is overdue for a presidential assassination attempt, and Obama is precisely the type of candidate that provides those with darker inclinations an ideal target for such an event. Although no one to my knowledge has put odds on it, it would not be unreasonable to believe that there is a 20 percent chance that there will be an attempt on Obama’s life between now and November. Hard to believe, even harder to say, but unavoidable given the context.

    Sorry for the long post.

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