(1) Barack Obama is widening his lead over John McCain in the race for the White House. . . .That 8-point lead is double the 4-point lead Obama held in the last CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, taken in mid-September.
(2) President George Bush may be part of the reason why Obama’s making gains. Only 24 percent of those polled approve of Bush’s job as president, an all-time low for a CNN survey. . . .
“Bush has now tied Richard Nixon’s worst rating ever, taken in a poll just before he resigned in 1975, and is only 2 points higher than the worst presidential approval rating in history, Harry Truman’s 22 percent mark in February 1952,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
(3) A drop in the public’s perception of McCain’s running mate . . . More Americans appear to have an unfavorable view of Gov. Sarah Palin, and that may also be helping Obama in the fight for the presidency. Forty percent now have an unfavorable view of Palin, up from 27 percent a month ago and from 21 percent in late August, when McCain surprised many people by picking the first-term Alaska governor as his running mate.
“A majority of Americans now believe that Sarah Palin would be unqualified to serve as president if it became necessary, and her unfavorable rating has doubled,” Holland said.
This is a dying, desperate movement — so deeply out-of-touch with the country that they actually proclaimed that Sarah Palin would save them in the wake of the debate, only to watch her continue to drag down their ticket. Polls now even show Obama with large leads in traditional red states like Virginia (10-12 points) and North Carolina (6 points). Watch McCain’s speech today and you will see only one thing: the behavior of cornered rats.
UPDATE III: Here’s a small excerpt from McCain’s speech that conveys just a tiny sliver of the flavor. Note that after McCain asks: “Who is the real Barack Obama?,” you hear “Terrorist!” from the crowd:
UPDATE IV: Pew Research has a new poll on the Vice Presidential candidates. Look at how voters, after the debate, perceive of Sarah Palin — the Plain-spoken Insurgent-Superstar who all Regular, Normal Americans would love and support just like Ronald Reagan:
The perception that she’s unqualified actually increased slightly after the debate; Biden beats her by a humiliating 35 points on that question (77-42%). Having someone who most Americans believe isn’t even basically qualified for the job running around sneeringly calling Barack Obama an American-hating Terrorist doesn’t seem like a good strategy, even in desperation. I’ve long thought, in light of the obvious obstacles he faced this year, that McCain was being smart by running an unconventional, risky campaign — including (perhaps especially) choosing Palin. But the behavior of the last couple of weeks isn’t unconventional; it’s unstable, and increasingly quite ugly, even by the standards of GOP campaigning tactics.
UPDATE V: Read this account from The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank about Sarah Palin’s speech today in Central Florida. They should just get it over with and move her rallies into Munich beer halls.
Both McCain and Palin’s speeches today were quite redolent of the notorious 1992 Rudy Giuliani speech, where he riled up drunken police officers against the African-American Mayor David Dinkins, described this way by The New York Times:
It was a rowdy, often threatening, crowd. Hundreds of white off-duty officers drank heavily, and a few waved signs like “Dump the Washroom Attendant,” a reference to Mr. Dinkins. A block away from City Hall, Mr. Giuliani gave a fiery address, twice calling Mr. Dinkins’s proposal “bullshit.” The crowd cheered. Mr. Giuliani was jubilant.
“If you’re acculturated to like cops, you don’t necessarily see 10,000 white guys who don’t vote in the city, don’t write political checks and love you for the wrong reason,” an aide said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is working with the Giuliani presidential campaign.
Mr. Dinkins has not forgotten that sea of angry cops. “Rudy was out there inciting white cops to riot,” Mr. Dinkins said in a recent interview.
But what is merely raucous, untoward and vile when done in a municipal election becomes downright dangerous when extrapolated to a national level, particularly in a time of severe economic crisis, as an increasingly desperate McCain and Palin are doing.