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Pet-lover McCain finds the scent of their votes; petless Obama lags

July 8, 2008 |  3:44 pm

Americans like their pets. Two out of three of our homes have pets, a whopping 163 million dogs and cats living as full family members.

And Americans like their presidents to have pets too, mainly dogs. Apparently voters think it says something about the chief executive's character or something. Try to think of a president who didn't have a dog run out to greet him at the helicopter. Even the jerk in "Dave" had a prop dog.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain and one of his dogs, Ginger

So while he's out jogging toward the middle of the political spectrum, the petless Sen. Barack Obama may want to stop off at Pets 'R Us well before November.

He's promised to get some kind of dog after the November election. But everyone knows about politicians' promises.

Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain, who has a full menagerie in his Arizona home, is building a lead among pet-owning voters, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-Yahoo News. McCain leads Obama 42-37 among pet owners and is especially strong among dog owners, perhaps because he's got about three of his own, including Ginger, above.

McCain also has a cat, two turtles, three parakeets and a ferret (good thing he doesn't live in California). Talk about a unity ticket.

It's amusing to picture the urban-dwelling, Ivy League lawyer Obama, surrounded by sunglassed Secret Service members, out walking his Maltese on Chicago's South Side and bending over by the curb for the pick-up with a plastic bag on his hand.

Obama does lead McCain 48-34 among non-pet owners. But alas for him there are many fewer of them in these 57 states.

Our blogging colleagues over at L.A. Unleashed have the full political pet story. And the Swamp has its own version too here.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Stephan Savoia / Associated Press 

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