That’s my headline — the editor had a different version, unfortunately
unsupported by what pollster George Barna actually said. Sigh.
Headlines are so often where newspapers go wrong.
Nonetheless, the story itself (here) is well worth reading. Here’s the crux (highly technical journalism term). I’ll post the rest of the story, without the paper’s headline, below the fold.
“Americans sense that something has gone astray in our political
sphere,” he said. “One of the conclusions widely drawn — especially by
younger voters, — is that attacking one’s opponent more and more
viciously as the campaign progresses, or the farther behind a candidate
falls in the polls is a show of self-interest, not national interest.
Add to that the existing perception that McCain represents the old,
tired politics of Beltway insiders, and you get a public that is not
particularly interested in hearing the old man criticize the younger
man, the white man question the integrity of the black man, or the
career politician challenge the newcomer.”
Barna is a mild-mannered man with
graying hair, and he doesn’t speak in colorful quotes, but the pollster
all but pounds the table on this point.
“People are already
concerned that McCain represents the old way of doing business,” he
said. “They don’t want the next president to be a mud-slinger. They
want him to stay above the fray. They’re worried about the future.”
And here’s the invaluable Supertracker composite of polls via FiveThirtyEight (here). You’ll note that the trend (the red line) is above statistician Nate Silver’s projection, which means the race should tighten, but it’s still looking very good for Obama right now.