This is an interesting article posted on Gallup this morning. While it's a poll, it's not a presidential "who will win" poll. It asked people
about various qualities and characteristics and asked people which one applied more to Obama or McCain. Here is how they fared.
Obama came out ahead in the following:
* Cares about the needs of people like you - Obama (53%); McCain (33%)
* Would work well with both parties to get things done in Washington - Obama (51%); McCain (38%)
* Is independent in his thoughts and actions - Obama (50%); McCain (37%)
* Shares your values - Obama (47%); McCain (40%)
* Puts the country's interests ahead of his own political interests - Obama (44%); McCain (42%) - this was one I found particularly interesting. Even
though Obama campaigns on being a different kind of politician, it looks like not many people give him credit for actually practicing what he
The two men TIED on the following question which I found astounding:
* Is honest and trustworthy - Obama (39%); McCain (39%) - Apparently people trust the two equally as well, which I find astounding considering all of
the slander you hear against McCain in the media and on these boards.
And McCain came out ahead in the following:
* Can manage the government effectively - Obama (43%); McCain (44%)
* Is a strong and decisive leader - Obama (40%); McCain (48%)
And then the last question asked, which is very significant IMO, was "Do you think Obama/McCain can or cannot handle the responsibilities of
Commander in Chief?"
The response was:
Obama - Can (53%); Cannot (44%); No Opinion (3%)
McCain - Can (80%); Cannot (18%); No Opinion (2%)
Clearly McCain beat Obama by a wide, wide margin on that question.
McCain's edge almost certainly reflects in part that he was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and an officer in the U.S. Navy for decades,
while Obama did not serve in the military. It may also reflect the fact that McCain is older, has more experience in the U.S. Senate and federal
government, and has taken a leading role in the Senate in many foreign policy issues, most notably the Iraq war. If these are the major underlying
facts informing Americans' opinions about the candidates, then it is unclear to what extent Obama's rhetoric or McCain's campaign ads could change
the existing perceptions.