More bad news for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain — the media’s and talking heads’ perceived front-runners for their respective parties’ 2008 Presidential nomination. It’s called EROSION:
The opening stages of the campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination have produced a noticeable shift in sentiment among African American voters, who little more than a month ago heavily supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton but now favor the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama.
Clinton, of New York, continues to lead Obama and other rivals in the Democratic contest, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. But her once-sizable margin over the freshman senator from Illinois was sliced in half during the past month largely because of Obama’s growing support among black voters.
That’s a huge loss. So expect to see heightened verbal sniping (despite official protestations of an issue-oriented campaign) between the Obama and Clinton camps. AND:
In the Republican race, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who recently made clear his intentions to seek the presidency, has expanded his lead over Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Giuliani holds a 2 to 1 advantage over McCain among Republicans, according to the poll, more than tripling his margin of a month ago.
The principal reason was a shift among white evangelical Protestants, who now clearly favor Giuliani over McCain. Giuliani among this group of Americans despite his support of abortion rights and gay rights, two issues of great importance to religious conservatives. McCain opposes abortion rights.
Perhaps one reason is that McCain has been making more — and seemingly grandiose — flip flops than a well-done pancake on the grill at the International House of Pancakes. Guiliani has been a bit more adept at fine-tuning his positions. McCain is in the toughest position of all: he has been trying to win over many of the Republican voters he alienated and who worked against him in 2000. But he has also wanted to keep his appeal to independent voters.
It’s far too early to make major pronouncements but we could be seeing (1) the growing erosion of the Hillary Clinton Is Inevitable image (making for a more interesting and perhaps fiery race) and (2) John McCain’s wooing of voters ending up turning off Republicans (who still don’t trust him) and independents (who feel he is no longer all that independent).
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.