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Alabamians favor John McCain, but don't see him winning

August 13, 2008 |  1:20 am

No surprise here: A recent poll found John McCain comfortably ahead of Barack Obama in the battle for Alabama's 9 electoral votes, 47% to 34%. Any hint of a closer race would be a shock in a state that President Bush carried with almost 63% of the vote four years ago.

What was surprising were the results for a second question posed by the Capital Survey Research Center.

When the pollsters asked 571 Alabamians whom they expected to win the White House race nationwide, 44% picked Obama, 33% McCain, with 23% undecided (the survey's margin of error was plus or minus 4.1 percentage points).

Obama and his campaign periodically have been zinged by some observers -- and a lot of critics -- for acting as if a November victory was a foregone conclusion. Just recently, late-night talk show host David Letterman rolled out "Top Ten Signs Barack Obama is Overconfident," a list that included "Asked guy at Staples, 'Which chair will work best in an oval-shaped office?' " and "Having head measured for Mt. Rushmore."

Still, when even a plurality of Alabamians envisions an Obama administration, it must be tough for him not to feel good about his chances.

-- Don Frederick