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New poll shows a deadlocked campaign -- in all ways

Could the presidential race, no matter how it's sliced or diced, be any closer?

Not as of this point, at least according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Based on interviews conducted Monday and Tuesday, the survey found Democratic voters split absolutely down the middle, 45% to 45%, between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Among all voters polled, general election matchups between the two Democrats and presumed Republican nominee John McCain stacked up this way:

  • McCain, 46%; Clinton, 44%
  • Obama, 44%; McCain 42%.

Both results are well within the 3.7 percentage point margin of error for this portion of the survey.

The figures that really grabbed our attention, however, concern the electability of a candidate who is black, a woman or ...

over 70 years old.

In the first two categories, the figures were almost exactly the same -- among all voters, 72% said the country is ready to elect a black person; 71% said the same for a woman (the negatives for those two categories were 18% and 20%, respectively).

But the "yes" responses dropped to 61% on the age question -- with 29% saying no, the nation would not opt to send a candidate over 70 to the White House.

Many political analysts long have held that results on race and gender electability may not be reliable; that some voters may not be willing to admit, even when being interviewed anonymously by a pollster, such a bias.

McCain, who turns 72 on Aug. 29 and is vying to become the oldest person to first assume the presidency, had better hope that's the case -- and that the same principle doesn't apply on the age matter.

There are other fascinating findings in the new poll; the take on it from the NBC political shop focuses on a noteworthy drop in Clinton's favorability ratings (you can read about that here). And the entire poll is available for perusal here.

-- Don Frederick

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Obama is doing good, tied with HRC and ahead of John McCain.

You notice Obama does better when taking RV rather than likely voters because Obama has strong support from young and minority voters, voters who aren't considered likely voters by the polling companies, because usually the young don't come out in large numbers, but this year is a bit different

Deadlocked? This race is deadlocked only of you ignore everything that happened up to this point. At this point, it's deadlocked in all ways except the most important, delegate count.

"In all ways" a deadlocked campaign?

Thank you, Howard.

There seems to be a disparity between the general opinion articles (and sound bites) I read from the pundits and what the polls tell. The general impression I get from a majority of political commentators is that the Democratic election is knee-deep in animosity, and a lot of slant towards so-and-so's dramatic rise or fall in the public image. My point is, the more I sift through the headlines the more I see that the slant has gone both ways on multiple occasions. But when I read articles like this and see today's Rasmussen Report which shows the majority of Democrats - 62% - aren't ready for either candidate to leave the race, I wonder where the public opinion begins and where the media's influence ends. Honestly, how many Democrats are really just burning with hatred towards their opponent?

This particular poll shows a virtually split opinion. But the truth is, the month neither candidate has been more than 10 points away from the other. So why not report optimistically? Why use terms like "divisive"? Why not celebrate the Democratic party having TWO candidates drawing such strong enthusiasm from their supporters that we're seeing historical voter turnouts?

I tip my hat to this article for simply reporting the facts, no spin. No introducing implications that the party is "tearing down". Just that the opinion is simply split.

Deadlocked in all ways... uhhh... except for the way that has Obama with the nomination sealed and Clinton not having any viable way to win.

Clinton is just tearing the party down now... I hope history remembers her for this.


i think you are under 13 years of age: you can read but should not participate

This campaign won't be deadlocked much longer.

With HRC's most recent statements on Fox she's embarassing her supporters and the DNC.

Even after her supporters stuck their necks out for her with Pelosi she goes on Fox New show “On the Record” yesterday and in her interview told host Greta Van Susteren that Democrats can’t win in November!

VAN SUSTEREN: You mean, you can’t win?

CLINTON: I don’t think a Democrat can win.

VAN SUSTEREN: You mean, in November.

CLINTON: In November…
Read the entire transcript (with video) here:,2933,342151,00.html


Hillary leads in none of the categories you stated. Period.

Also, Republicans are voting for Hillary, not Obama. Seriously, do you pay attention in any form?

Not THIS Woman - Not at THIS Moment in History!

Gender bias is very acceptable all around the world, and it's been rearing it's ugly head in the democratic primary.

Generally, I think it's a good thing for the most part, that our society has an open, friendly, often humorous dialog about gender. It's better that tip-toeing around our differences, as we often do on racial and religious issues, afraid of saying the wrong thing and causing offense. Most of the time, I wouldn't find a lot of this stuff offensive.

On the other hand, we have allies, such as Saudi Arabia, where women are beaten for being raped, aren't allowed to drive a car, or attend school. There are practices like arranged marriages, honor killings, forced abortions, sexual slavery, and female castration that we, as a world power, should be more outraged about, more proactive to end than we are.

I wonder how many people know the percentage of women who are raped and/or victims of domestic violence during their lifetimes? 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual assault during their lifetimes. Women in some countries are still treated as property.

Women have had to fight for the right to vote, own property, and a lot of other rights men took for granted and still do. You can say a lot of things about Hillary Clinton, but you can't say she hasn't been an advocate for women and children her entire life.

So, yes, I take gender slurs against the first woman to have a serious shot at the presidency of this country seriously. I don't think they have a place in the discourse any more than racial slurs against Obama. Denigrate her for her policies or her integrity, but not because she's female. Not this women - not at this moment. It denigrates all women. Like her or hate her, all women deserve this one small concession in the dialog. Women's suffering is usually the last to be acknowledged or addressed.

I'm not some rabid feminist, but I am extremely proud that a women has broken through and come so close to leading this country, but just like there are ignorant people who won't vote for Obama because he's a black man, there are people who won't for for Clinton because she's a woman, and I've encountered quite a few of them. They call me "honey" and "babe" and tell me not to get emotional, while lacing their remarks with references to shrillness, pantsuits, and crying for votes.

In this election, for once, we should be as sensitive to gender slurs as we are racial slurs and be proud of these historic candidates we've selected.

the longer this goes on, the more the public will become aware that this is all a baloney farce. already many people know that all those polls are bogus propaganda, and the presidential contentions with the exception of ron paul's candidacy, are imposterous clownish stage acts performed to dupe and distract the public - while those who print their own money at the cost of people's reedom and to the detriment of future generations, pursue their own 'selfless' agenda. and their 'coalition of the willing' including the censoring media mafia are doing all they can to support their cause and sell out the american republic to megalomaniac psychopathic traitors that will unscrupulously engage in mass murder for petty profit. and the longer this goes on, the more people will not only notice but object to all 'presidential candidates' but ron paul having criminal records and a host of other disqualifying traits (e.g. mccain not even 'natural born citizen'). so come november, some things will be different.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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