Who's arrogant now?

A new poll might throw some cold water on an emerging narrative about Barack Obama.

Published July 31, 2008 8:49PM (EDT)

As I noted Wednesday and Salon's Glenn Greenwald wrote about in more depth today, the media is all aflutter about the perception that Barack Obama is arrogant. However, a new poll suggests that despite the growing drumbeat behind this narrative, a majority of voters don't view him that way. In fact, the survey showed that the number of respondents who see Obama as arrogant wasn't that different from the number who see John McCain that way.

The poll found that 37 percent of Americans view Obama as arrogant, while 34 percent think the same about McCain. That's within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Moreover, as the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder pointed out, while 44 percent of voters believe Obama is acting as if he has already won the election, 56 percent don't. That 44 percent number might seem high, but remember: That's a little less than the percent of Americans who currently say they plan to vote for McCain, a number that has remained relatively stable despite this kind of criticism of Obama. So it may well be that the respondents' perception of Obama was more a function of their political leanings than anything else.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz.