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John McCain and Barack Obama: Who do you love?*

* With a nod to the late Bo Diddley.

A new Diageo/The Hotline poll today again reinforces just how closely divided the national electorate is between John McCain and Barack Obama -- it has Obama up by 2 points -- but also has a couple of other nuggets to digest on a Friday morning.

First is the favorable/unfavorable rating. Obama tops McCain 57% to 52% in the favorable ratings, and similarly has lower unfavorable ratings, 33% to 37% for McCain. Both gaps are within the margin of error, yet suggest what we're likely to see as the campaign evolves -- efforts by the Republicans to whittle away at the gap and by Democrats to widen it.

Also, the poll found unity in at least one area among voters -- concerns about the economy, jobs and unemployment, with 31% of Democrats and Republicans both saying it should be the top priority for whoever wins in the fall. Independents? A little higher at 35% -- and those are the folks both sides need to woo.
Curiously, though, Democrats and Republicans split when asked what they thought was the most serious issue facing the country, with with 41% of Democrats saying the "economy in general," but only 27% of Republicans saying so. Second place for both was gas/fuel/oil prices, but with 21% of Republicans and 13% of Democrats. Add 'em together: 54% of Democrats said the economy and fuel prices, and 48% of  Republicans.

But those crucial independents?  The economy got 32% and fuel prices 21% for a combined 53%. And that's why you see both campaigns hammering away at those issues, with Obama trying to tie McCain to the Bush administration policies and McCain trying paint Obama as pushing higher taxes on people already feeling pinched.

The war in Iraq? Only 5% of Republicans listed it as the nation's most pressing issue, compared with 15% among the Democrats. But only 3% of the independents placed it highest. So as James Carville once famously said, "It's the economy, stupid." At least for right now.

-- Scott Martelle

Photo: Eric Leonard

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I love Barack Obama

The Pew Center also published a survey that showed that majorities of Democrats (65%), Independents (61%), and even Republicans (57%), want the next president to focus on domestic issues.

Of course they are showing these results. The media has all but shut out news about the war in Iraq. There are still American soldiers being killed every day, there are still suicide bombers and insurgent attacks. Media reps will say that Americans are suffering from "fatigue" with regard to war reporting. But what is that compared to what our troops, and the Iraqi people are suffering?

And McCain still defends his "100 years in Iraq" statement. Well, I say...

John McCain - NOPE! -

I love Bob Barr. I'll be voting for him in November.

"It's the economy, stupid" as long as Big Media continues to under-report the successes in Iraq. If things start to go bad there, the media will make sure Iraq becomes the main issue.
-Wm Tate,

I love Obama because he is intelligent, learns fast, ran a highly efficient campaign in the primaries. Oh, yes we can.

Both of these candidates are media figureheads, and will not bring about any redeemable "change" whatsoever, beyond change in their personal bank accounts. If the american people wanted real change, Ron Paul would already be the nominee. Our dollar will soon be as valuable as the toilet paper you wipe your a** with, and neither Obama nor McCain are going to do a damn thing about it.

I will be writing in Ron Paul, because neither of these guys deserve to be voted for.

I have this feeling that neither one of these people will be president. I think McCain is going to, have the big one in spectacular fashion and I think Obama is going to crash and burn.

They say if you put a hundred monkeys in a room in front of a hundred typewriters for a hundred years, one of them will pound out a Shakespeare play. Remember, you heard it here first.

By the way, what happens if a nominee were to say, die of a heart attack while doing the wild thing with a campaign staffer? Does the running mate take over? Does the party re-nominate? I wonder.

I like McCain because he is stands for our country and what we believe in. The media sadly makes Obama out to be the leader when in reality the man who will win is McCain.

I was fortunate to have a former state representative as my American Gov teacher in college. He taught the rules of aesthetics as they pertain to politics. Basically we all vote based on an aesthetic frame of mind that dictates our decision. Meaning and you heard it here first - race and in this election until recently also gender.

You see the views of Obama are irrelevant. The fact of his skin color is relevant. It’s just not relevant yet but come voting day it will come down to aesthetics.

As we proceed on to election day my predictions which now will be described as nothing more than "old school, out of touch, 100 more years in Iraq, totally 80s" mindset will come true. Time as they say will tell!

how could you love McCain? What's to love in a man whose mythical heroism is the notion that a soldier who surrendered to the enemy is somehow a hero. He crashed his fighter plane and allowed himself to be captured alive by the enemy. Now he claims some heroism.

John McCain should be hiding under the rick for his cowardice

I don't like Obama. If he were really smart, not pompous, more friendly, and not uncharismatic. He isn't saying much about his plans and most of what he says is just not my cup of tea. I liked HIllary and this is why the country is split. Now that Obama got rid of her...I'm having to go for McCain. I'm not hating the democrat party...I am am disagreeing with their choice. Each one has to make their own opinions. I am sure when the country gets to know and hear Obama more they will make the right decision and vote McCain. At least enough and in the right states to ensure him a win.

I initially was for Hillary, but there is ABSOLUTELY no way on the planet that I, or any other female that cares about women's rights, would ever vote for Mc. Bush!

We are whole-heartedly going to support Senator Obama!

If there are women who believe going from Hillary to McCain is a good thing for our country ..... they haven't done their homework.

Obama '08 !!!

The American Economy is in Ruins, and obama wants to overtax the population,

who does he think he is?



"There is no doubt in my mind that as a member of the black community, I am obligated to this community and will utilize all of my present and future resources to benefit the black community first and foremost". Michelle Obama, in her own words, does not lookout into a crowd at a political rally and see Americans, she sees whites and blacks.
It is no wonder they chose Rev. Wright as a pastor, because his comments and his church's mission statement go right in line with her thesis. Promotion of the black race at ANYcost! If she didn't consider her inner thoughts of this thesis being revealed a liability, then why did she have access to the thesis blocked at the Princeton website until November 8th. A few days AFTER the national Presidential election on November 4th.

SHOCKING: What Obamas really think of white folks

An Obama Presidency Will Set Race Relations Back Decades
Just this Sunday Father Michael Pfleger (a longtime friend and associate of Senator Obama) mocked Hillary Clinton & AGAIN ATTACKED WHTE PEOPLE at Obama's church OF 20 PLUS YEARS. "There are a whole lot of white people crying!"

OBAMA has come to deliver AMERICANS from economic crash. Let votes for him. he is God sent. VOTE FOR CHANGE ! OBAMA 08 !

To say that McCain has experience is like saying a fighter that lost 20 fights in a row is somehow a seasoned professional. McCain came in near to last in his graduating class of 900 students, lost a plane and was captured by the enemy, was found complicit in the Keating Five investigation. He has corrupt lobbyist on his staff and has repeatedly backed the Iraq war. We should be grateful that we don't have more leaders with this type of experience. With experienced people like him, we don't even need enemies.

I just love BO's economic plan the same as Bush's plan.

Borrow billions of dollars from China to give each of us a lousy $600.00, so we can all go to Walmart to buy more cheap crap made in China.

Great plan. NOT!!

McCain, Republicans and congree in the past are all about corporate greed and how the take advantage of small town and the little people in America.

I am waiting for the corporate media and the religious extremists to start talking loud about sex. It seems sex always derails the real issues in the United States elections.


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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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