AP Poll: Obama ‘Best Hope' | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

AP Poll: Obama ‘Best Hope'

A new Associated Press poll finds that, despite petty controversies like the dust-up over his preacher, Barack Obama has become the candidate that most Democrats believe has the best chance of beating John McCain in November. And that is despite the fact that 15 percent actually believe he is Muslim:

Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are both sustaining dents and dings from their lengthy presidential fight. The former first lady is clearly suffering more as Democratic voters no longer see her as the party's strongest contender for the White House. Voters of all types have gotten a better sense of Obama, who was an obscure Illinois legislator just four years ago. As more people moved from the "I don't know him" category in an AP-Yahoo News poll, more rated Obama as inexperienced, unethical and dishonest. And 15 percent erroneously think he's a Muslim, thanks in part to disinformation widely spread on the Internet. But Obama's positive ratings have climbed as well, while Clinton - widely known since the early 1990s - has been less able to change people's views of her. And when those views have shifted, it has hurt her more than helped. The New York senator's ratings for being honest, likable, ethical and refreshing have fallen since January, and Obama scores higher than she does in all those categories.

In a dramatic reversal, the AP-Yahoo News poll found that a clear majority of Democratic voters now say Obama has the better chance of defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in November. In late January, before Obama scored 11 straight primary and caucus victories, 56 percent of Democrats saw Clinton as the stronger nominee, compared with 33 percent for Obama. Now, Obama leads on that question, 56 percent to 43 percent. [...]

The most encouraging sign for Obama is that many Democrats who previously saw Clinton as their party's best hope now give him that role. About one-third of them still prefer Clinton, but they have lost confidence in her electability.

Previous Comments

ID
118746
Comment

One of my heroes, the great Derrick Bell, who walked away from a tenured teaching position at Harvard Law school over principle, if memory serves me correctly, said the following once upon a time: "Black people are the magical faces at the bottom of society's well. Even the poorest whites, those who must live their lives only a few levels above, gain their self-esteem by gazing down on us. Surely, they must know that their deliverance depends on letting down their ropes. Only by working together is escape possible. Over time, many reach out, but most simply watch, mesmerized into maintaining their unspoken commitment to keeping us where we are, at whatever cost to them and us." We have this awesome opportunity as brothers and sisters of all races to pick someone unlike the Bushes or Clintons or Coldwaters or Meachums or McCains and to see if we can as a mass-driven group of working class people turn around the country and bring our innocent soldiers home. Similarly, we have this wonderful opportunity to drive the last nail into this phony so-called conservative revolution that is the ugliest and most vile political and social thing I've seen in my half-century of years.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-18T15:48:29-06:00
ID
118747
Comment

I certainly hope my new friend Ironghost reads the post above!

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-18T16:18:25-06:00
ID
118755
Comment

Heh... Barack's from nowhere near the bottom of society, that I've heard.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2008-04-19T16:58:24-06:00
ID
118756
Comment

He was raised by a single parent and his grandparents and just finished paying off his student loan 3 or 4 years ago. sometimes his mother could not afford her own place and had to stay with friends. It doesn't sound like someone born to wealthy parents as were the other two candidates. I guess he is not from near the bottom if Ironghost's standard means he would have to be currently homeless to qualify as from being "near the bottom".

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-20T09:34:44-06:00
ID
118757
Comment

From what little I've read, his mother was a middle class mid-western progressive internationalist devoted to women's economic issues. She was a big thinker who was involved in a women's empowerment NGO in Indonesia where she met her second husband. Seems like he was mostly raised in Hawaii in hippie style genteel poverty. They might have stayed with friends, or not been committed to the middle class, straight job/buy a house lifestyle, but weren't intellectually impoverished, or materially lacking anything. He's a self made man, Harvard Law and all, whereas McCain is the son of a navy admiral and Hillary the Wellesley/Yale daughter of a congressman.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-20T12:02:53-06:00
ID
118760
Comment

Yeah, gotta concur there. Ghost? Whatcha thinkin'? It seems pretty clear that Obama came from fairly humble beginnings. Self-made, etc., etc. Even in recent years I'd say it's not like the Obamas have been swimming in wealth -- check their tax returns...until the book sales kick in, they're pretty standard-issue two-salary professionals in a major metro...about $200k household per year, which is nice, but not too out of the ordinary for folks that run in their circles. (Then the book sales kick in and the numbers go up to a million.)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-04-20T19:51:31-06:00
ID
118762
Comment

And let's not forget McCain's wife, will. That's where the real, long-term wealth in this bunch lies. And the Clintons are raking it in of late in a really large way, but they're not old money. Certainly, the Obamas and the Clintons are all meritocracy. It's what you do when you earn it that matters. Do you still care about the poor and middle class, regardless of your income, or do you think they should scrap from the crumbs that fall their way as corporations are protected? The question isn't much more complicated than that. I'm pretty sure I know where Obama will come down on that. Not so sure about any of the others. I think power and money corrupted the Clintons mightily, and Clinton sold out the poor during his term. McCain seems willing to sell out his own firebrand independence to win the White House. The She-Clinton is willing to go to any length to get her shot, it seems, even tarnish her husband's previous great reputation as the "first black president." Nothing interesting in any of that. Clearly, Iron has been listening to the wrong people about Obama, regardless. You shouldn't be quite as quick to kneejerk in a partisan fashion, Iron.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-20T20:09:51-06:00
ID
118772
Comment

One other thing since we're thinking and talking. Why is it that so many working class whites prefer to join forces with the small class of white elites who 99% of the working class people can never really join economically, socially or otherwise no matter what we do. Rich white slave owners used poor working class or not working whites to aid in slave revolts, captures, murders, lynchings, terrorism, etc. while poor whites remained abjectly poor. And white elites have used working class whites in their ventures to turn back affirmative action, civil rights, the new deal and many other social reforms that arguably have benefited working class whites as much or nearly as much as blacks. It seems to me that race is the only thing working class whites have in common with the rich white elites of America but they allow race to trump what is best for the majority of all of us irrespective of race. It seems that all powerful, rich and elites whites have to do to stir old or lingering emotions and fears of working class whites against blacks is to use the current conditions (a constant struggle to beat the odds or plan for us), situations and plight of black people as the ploy. Frankly, I'm surprised there hasn't been of late more efforts to turn back the successes of the black middle class other than an attack on affirmative action and the counter revolution of republicans. Perhaps this shows we have finally grown some finally as a country. Anyone cares to comment?

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-21T07:30:37-06:00
ID
118774
Comment

Well, you have to admit that for the past seven years, he's been doing better than, Oh, 96% of the nation. I know he was a state senator before that, and I believe Illinois pays pretty well on that front too. He ain't hurting.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2008-04-21T07:45:08-06:00
ID
118777
Comment

Iron: Your original comment: Heh... Barack's from nowhere near the bottom of society, that I've heard. didn't jibe with reality. You've since amended it to: He ain't hurting. which is more accurate, but doesn't exactly differentiate him from his opponents, nor from pretty much anyone in public office at the national level. I doubt we would want them to be "hurting," as that would take away from their ability to govern. Why would a good Republican like yourself take Obama to task for being a self-made success? McCain, on the other hand, has very interestingly decided to release only two year's worth of returns, and declines to tell us how much his wife has made via her alcohol-distribution empire. (Not that I have a problem with that. ;-) http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/04/18/916355.aspx

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-04-21T08:56:32-06:00
ID
118781
Comment

What made the late Kingfish my favorite known or suspected republican on this blog was his courage to say what he believed was the case in certain terms. He didn't hit and run, stick and move, go to great efforts to deceive or shut up without correction or pondering whether he had erred. Like many of us he had blind spots, and would get mad, but, in my opinion, he wasn't totally opposed to yearning and learning. There is always a TRUTH bigger than our feelings, learning, teachings or socialization. I'm not talking to anyone in paticilar - just rambling as usual.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-21T09:14:53-06:00
ID
118783
Comment

It's not that I engage in "hit-and-run" attacks, Walt. It's that I don't have time or constant internet access to argue issues with people who aren't going to change their minds or settle on one story to tell.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2008-04-21T09:36:15-06:00
ID
118785
Comment

It's funny, Iron, that you assume that the goal would be arguing with people to change *their* minds. Good conversation and informed debate is about changing our *own* minds, and evolving the dialogue. But you don't seem interested in that. You seem to live in a comfortable space where you don't feel the need to do anything but throw bombs and run away. That's your choice, but there are other options. And they don't take spending all your time on the Internet.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-21T09:51:45-06:00
ID
118789
Comment

"Why is it that so many working class whites prefer to join forces with the small class of white elites who 99% of the working class people can never really join economically, socially or otherwise..." Ra...er, I mean Walt You ask one of the most important questions, an observation that got MLK killed? Peasant/serf consciousness on a DNA level? Subconscious need for paternalistic god/kings to protect them from the dark unknown? Unconscious tribalism? Permission to project their shadow side onto the "other"? A team to root for to try and alleviate existential angst? Cutting off their nose to spite their face?

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-21T11:47:42-06:00
ID
118790
Comment

All of the above, probably. Add to that being taken advantage of by unsavory leaders, like Atwater/Barbour/Nixon/Reagan, etc., to play to their worst tendencies in order to be divided and conquered.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-21T12:11:02-06:00
ID
118794
Comment

Thanks Will and Donna. Glad somebody ventured an answer.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-21T13:29:31-06:00
ID
118795
Comment

I gotta disagree that Ronald Reagan was an unsavory leader. And really Haley isn't either. Now Atwater and Nixon were certainly rough characters.

Author
QB
Date
2008-04-21T13:33:01-06:00
ID
118802
Comment

"I gotta disagree that Ronald Reagan was an unsavory leader." - Fat Harry Reagan was a sleaze from the very get-go. He kicked off his campaign for the presidency with a race baiting total lie. The man stood in Philadelphia, Mississippi and told the story of the "welfare queen" in her "welfare Cadillac" who ripped off Social Security with 30 addresses, 80 aliases, four fictional dead husbands, and a dozen fraudulent social security cards. No such woman ever existed; it was a racist total lie and fabrication. Reagan, more than anyone, is responsible for the myth of the "young black male super-predator" and the genocide and devastation that has wrought on black neighborhoods and black families in every city in the United States. And, the Iran-Contra affair activities, as in genocide, torture, war crimes, and violations of the U.S. Constitution in Central America? About as much insight as when you said there's a surplus of housing in New Orleans, and the homeless people living in the tent city under the highway overpass in New Orleans are there because they want to be. You're too influenced by Rush Limbaugh's kind of foolishness, Fat Harry.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-21T17:06:52-06:00
ID
118803
Comment

The "welfare queen" might have existed. She was just not as bad a Reagan made her out to be. From a Wiki article on welfare queen "Since Reagan never named a particular woman, the description can be viewed as an example of dramatic hyperbole. Despite claims that the woman never existed, the story seems to have been drawn from newspaper reports at the time. In 1976, the New York Times reported that a woman from Chicago was charged with using 4 aliases and of cheating the government out of $8,000. She appeared again in the newspaper while the Illinois Attorney General continued investigating her case. The woman was ultimately found guilty of "welfare fraud and perjury" in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois."

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-21T17:35:01-06:00
ID
118809
Comment

As a self proclaimed flaming moderate and independent, I'd have no problem voting for Sen. Obama, as long as I knew he wouldn't raise my taxes. And as far as Reagan goes, he was the President America needed at the time, although I think there was some of what he have now, i.e others really calling the shots. And the way that some of the right wing radio honks just go on & on in such glowing terms seems at times like some homo erotic obsession. Not to crack on gays, I'm cool w/ that, but you know what I mean.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-04-21T21:44:13-06:00
ID
118812
Comment

Reagan might have been what racist white folks or racist America needed but he wasn't what black folks or non-racist people of other races needed. He was as assaultive and terrorizing to black folks as any racist white man before, during and after reconstruction because of his abuse of power and pandering to racists. I totally agree with Will on this. Sure Reagan tried to pull a few decent efforts out his butt as the end neared for his presidency and life so he could feign less hatred toward black folks. This old trick doesn't work for me, and I'm certainly hopeful and counting on it not to work in the eyes of the Almighty. Reagan knew his defenders would lie to the end for him if he merely said he didn't hate black folks no matter the suffering he caused us. I walked through the heart of the ghetto on a daily basis counting the suffering Reagan's policies caused black families while racist and indifferent white people rejoiced. This is why I have no hatred toward Hinkley.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-22T07:46:45-06:00
ID
118877
Comment

Walt, I also don't like to forget Operation Urgent Fury, Reagan's bizarre 1983 public relations "invasion" of the Afro-Caribbean island nation of Grenada, W.I., under the bogus claim that the safety of US medical students at Ross U. was compromised by Cubans building a civilian landing strip there, and pro-Cuban internal politics. I happened to have been there at the time with a lady friend from Cariacou. I had a drink two days earlier at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau, Dominica with a friend of mine, His Excellency Sir Clarence Seignoret, O.B.E., G.C.B., President of Dominica. All of a sudden, there were clean cut white males with polished black service shoes, white socks, crew cuts , and guayavera shirts running around all over the place with attache cases. Then all hell broke loose After the military invasion Reagan, installed a pro-American regime. It's said that Oliver North planned it. Reagan's polls were soft and they were looking for something to divert attention.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-23T14:28:44-06:00

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