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Why Obama is fading in the polls

By Carol Devine-Molin
web posted September 15, 2008

Will wonders never cease? One of the columnists at the New York Times is no longer in denial, but is beginning to grasp that the Obama candidacy is in real trouble.  In Tom Friedman's recent piece entitled, "From the Gut", he notes:"If you as a politician connect with voters on a gut level, they will follow you anywhere and not fret about the details. If you don't connect with them on a gut level, you can't show them enough details. Obama early on, and particularly with young people, connected on a gut level like no other politician since Ronald Reagan. But in recent weeks, I feel as though he has lost that gut connection."

Of course, Tom Friedman is accurate in his assessment that successful politicians routinely make gut connections with voters. Clearly, Obama is making a great splash with the college kids, who have been instrumental in his meteoric rise. But what has caused the recent decline in Obama's poll ratings? 

This is not complicated. Simply put, the adults are now finally focusing upon the presidential election, as they always do right after Labor Day. As indicated by the Gallup organization on Sept. 9th, "Voters 30 and older are more likely to be supporting McCain than they were just prior to the Republican convention, but not young voters. In contrast to the 7-point jumps in support seen among those aged 50 to 64, and 65 and older, there has been a 1-point decline in support among 18 to 29-year-olds."  Moreover, independents are now breaking substantially toward McCain over Obama, 52% to 37%.  As of Sept.10th, John McCain continues to maintain his lead over Obama with registered voters, 48% to 43%.     

The question of character is thoroughly dominating the political terrain. These mature voters want a president who displays authenticity, subscribes to "America First" values, has a firm grip on national security issues, and demonstrates a true record of bucking the establishment that has produced our current economic woes. These are consequential times, and the wrong presidential pick could conceivably wreak havoc upon this nation for years to come.  

Barack ObamaFor many "30 and up" voters, their gut-check reflects significant reservations about Obama. They intuit that Obama not only lacks the experience and judgment to lead America, but that his political orientation is just too far Left.  In the US Senate since 2005, Obama has produced a rather sparse and unimpressive record of legislative accomplishments. Moreover, because Obama is a product of the liberal intelligentsia, he's finding it exceedingly difficult to connect with the politically "center-right" voters. They are, in fact, the heart-and-soul of mainstream America that reject the notions of socialism and redistribution of wealth.  

Obama will surely continue his mantra that only the "wealthy" will be taxed to finance his Big Government "solutions". That's always the hogwash being peddled by the Democrat politicos, but the proof is in the pudding. The bottom line is that the tax burden consistently manages to filter down to the middle class, a reality that most people understand. Obama's claim that families earning $250,000 annually are "wealthy" is absolutely ludicrous.  A family living in the "high-tax, high cost of living" New York metropolitan area that owns a home and has a few kids in college is just about making ends meet with that income.   

Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado, who has studied Obama's spending proposals, notes that: "Senator Obama has promised to pay for his record new spending increases with a tax increase on families making $250,000 and over. However, this increase would only yield $225 billion over 5 years, a far cry short of the $1.4 trillion required under his new spending plan."Like Senator Allard, most Americans are in favor of fiscal responsibility, limited government and reductions in taxation, rather than the status quo of ever-growing government. Unfortunately, Obama is not a true reformer but a march-in-lockstep liberal who has never exhibited a propensity to challenge the tax-and-spend ways, or any other proclivities, of the Democrat Party.

During a recent interview on the O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly questioned Barack Obama on his history of associations with radical elements that include the Daily Kos, MoveOn.org, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadette Dohrn, and Father Michael Pfleger. O'Reilly noted that Americans want a president "who they can identify with", the inference being that these individuals and organizations are perceived as being rather unsavory and out of the mainstream. In response, Obama rationalized and minimized, failing to offer up any compelling remarks. 

O'Reilly was at his best as he just laid it on the line, telling Obama: "The pattern of behavior is that you feel very comfortable, for some reason, in far-left precincts. That's the pattern of behavior that I see."The comment was beautiful in its simplicity, and just so spot-on. And that's precisely the type of gut reaction that the majority of Americans are having to Obama – He's a Leftist that seeks out other Leftists.  

Interestingly, the BBC conducted a poll that shows most of the world is rooting for Obama, who has dubbed himself a "citizen of the world". The BBC should understand that Americans aren't swayed by global sentiment. Since when do foreign nations care about America? We often get a bum rap in the world.  Rather, we want leaders that have America's best interests at heart.

As to John McCain's newly acquired vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, she's a wonderful asset to the ticket and an individual that quickly establishes gut connections with her fellow Americans.  Palin is a true movement leader that's effectively bringing together all stripes of conservatism. For some, she might be Sarah "Barracuda". But when I see Sarah, I'm reminded of the theme from "The Big Country".  ESR

Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.

 

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