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McCainometrics: McVoters Think McBush Would Be McSame

July 1st, 2008 | by Daniel DiRito |

If one can believe the latest Gallup poll, the ideological distance between John McCain and George W. Bush is way too small for a large number of voters. In fact, nearly fifty percent of voters are very concerned that John McCain would pursue the same policies as his predecessor.

McCain faces a challenge in trying to convince voters to allow him to follow an unpopular president of the same party. Democratic candidate Barack Obama has attempted to link McCain to Bush by saying that electing McCain would effectively lead to a “third Bush term.” Although McCain remains competitive in head-to-head matchups with Obama, the poll suggests that McCain may have more work to do to distance himself from Bush.

It is clearly a delicate balancing act for McCain, as Bush remains relatively popular with the Republican base. While only 28% of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing as president, a majority of Republicans (60%) still do. Bush’s approval rating among current McCain supporters is slightly lower, at 55%.


A recent CBS News poll asked registered voters what they thought McCain would do — continue Bush’s policies, change to more conservative policies, or change to less conservative policies. A plurality of 43% believe he would continue Bush’s policies, but more expect some change — either more conservative (21%) or less conservative (28%) policies. Thus, while most voters express concern about McCain being too much like Bush, most do not necessarily expect this to happen.

I doubt that McCain can take comfort in the CBS poll numbers. I’m of the opinion that a large precentage of the 21% who think McCain will be more conservative than Bush aren’t going to vote for McCain. I say that because the GOP base generally thinks McCain is too liberal. Hence, I suspect that the respondents who stated McCain would be more conservative were left of center and don’t view McCains conservative bona fides as a reason to vote for McCain.


Looking at the data regarding voter perceptions of Barack Obama’s seems to support my contentions. The percentage of voters who are very concerned Obama will go too far in changing the Bush policies stands at 30%. I would suggest that number results primarily from those who are a part of the fervently conservative GOP base. While 30% may seem like a concerning number, a look at the second polling question sheds more light on the mood of the electorate as a whole.

Of particular interest is the mood of those who consider themselves to be independents. Looking at those numbers suggests that they want a solid majority (56 percent to 42 percent) prefer a president who will not align himself with the policies of George Bush.

Comparing the responses to the McCain questions with the responses to the Obama questions provides some interesting anecdotal evidence. My impression is that voters are fairly certain they don’t want to continue the Bush administration policies and they see McCain being too far to the right. At the same time, there is some trepidation that Obama may be a little too far to the left.

At this moment, it looks like the electorate wants to be sure the next president won’t give them more of the same…but won’t completely reinvent the wheel. The fact that Obama seems to be moving towards the center seems to suggest that his campaign may have a pretty good understanding of the mood of the electorate. It remains to be seen which candidate can find the delicate balance needed to assure voters in order to insure victory.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

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  1. 8 Responses to “McCainometrics: McVoters Think McBush Would Be McSame”

  2. By Ken Grandlund on Jul 1, 2008 | Reply

    Interesting that in the McCain questions, fully 55% of republicans are not concerned (either not “too” concerned or not concerned “at all”) that McCain’s policies will be similar to Bush’s. That is troubling to me in that it suggests that a majority of republicans still find Bush’s policies to be the right ones.

    Of course, I could be reading that wrong….but I doubt it.

  3. By rube cretin on Jul 1, 2008 | Reply

    55% of the republicans represents about the 28% of the electorate still supporting Bush. They’ve done pretty well or are ideologically wedded to this abortion of a administration.

    Among most folks i talk too this race and all the polls are pretty low on their agenda. The economic ground seems to be shifting under many and the race is not much on their mind. My guess is the race will be all about the economy this fall and it will favor the Dems. Amazing how we never understand the root cause of our problems.

  4. By steve on Jul 1, 2008 | Reply

    Well… 76% of the Democrats against the policies of Bush probably scares the shit out of the moderates on both sides, that helps the Republicans…

  5. By rube cretin on Jul 1, 2008 | Reply

    Yep, but most democrats only have a negative equity home. Most Repugs have that plus a sports car. As Warren Buffet put it, when the tide goes out, you find out who has been skinny dipping.

  6. By Lisa on Jul 1, 2008 | Reply

    We don’t want McSame,I vote for
    ” HopeyChanginess”

    “Yep, but most democrats only have a negative equity home”

    Rube do you know any of these democrats?

  7. By rube cretin on Jul 1, 2008 | Reply

    yep, many of them live down the road from me in one of those developments built on a portion of a friend of mines farm. Its 20 miles to most of their jobs and they are a struggling. Fortunately the lots are spacious and most are beginning to grow gardens and some of them seems to be taking advantage of some fine water melons I’m selling for 4th of July purposes. Put a sign up the other night saying there was one poison water melon in the patch. Next morning when i went to check the sign had been changed to say there are two poisoned water melons in the patch. Only a Democrat could be that clever.

  8. By Lisa on Jul 2, 2008 | Reply

    Oh sorry Rube I was referring to the rich democrats not the ones who vote democrat.

  9. By manapp99 on Jul 2, 2008 | Reply

    Obama moves to the right on NAFTA, agrees with telecom imunity on FISA, abandons public financing out of greed and now wants to expand the presidents faith based programs. Claims he will be a uniter not a divider. Soon after he is elected he will speecify about how events on the ground will mean NOT withdrawing troops from Iraq.

    Perhaps we should be calling him O-Bush-Ma

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