Friday, July 11, 2008

Pocketbook issues and landslides

I came across something interesting as I read about McCain's visit to Michigan yesterday. In case you didn't know, McCain met with about 250 invited guests, mostly small-business owners and auto industry employees, to talk about pocketbook issues facing businesses and individuals. The Detroit Free Press gave this account of one person's opinion following the meeting.
Rich Keenan, 48, of Canton said he would never vote for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. But he also was wary of McCain's vote against tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush and the environment. [...]

By the end of the discussion, Keenan said he was closer to a vote for McCain.
I was curious to see how the national media described the meeting so I checked out the Washington Post. This is their description [emphasis mine]:
But a day after a top McCain economic adviser dismissed the nation's struggles as a "mental recession," the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's message landed with a thud, as workers sat in stony silence. [...]

But the 100 or so in the crowd sat on their hands throughout most of McCain's speech, especially during his remarks about the need for free trade -- a policy that is generally reviled in manufacturing areas.
That's quite a bit different from the description in the Free Press. However, that's not what I found so interesting. Near the end of the Post's article was this [emphasis mine]:
With most Americans blaming President Bush for their troubles, McCain faced an uphill climb even before his campaign's recent miscues. Macroeconomic Advisers, a St. Louis-based economic forecasting firm, will release a report next week that factors in such variables as the growth rate of real disposable income, unemployment rate, real oil price increases, the power of the incumbent party as well as the impact of party fatigue to forecast the outcome of the election. The result projects a victory of more than 10 percentage points for presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, said Chris P. Varvares, the firm's president.

"How do you define a landslide?" he asked.
It'll be interesting to see if McCain really loses by a large margin. The latest Pew report has Obama leading McCain 48% to 40%, which isn't a landslide, but give McCain and his advisers a few more weeks and that margin should grow. Voters are quickly being turned off by their flip-flops, insults and jokes.


abi said...

I thought Bob Dole was a pretty lame presidential candidate, but McCain takes the cake. This election is Obama's to lose (altho in the last couple of weeks, he seems to be trying his best to lose it).

Kathy said...

Abi, I'm not trying to make ageism an issue (primarily because I'm not so young myself), but I'm really beginning to think McCain's mental faculties are sliding based on his recent flip-flops, memory lapses, etc. Several of my middle-aged friends pointed that out to me too. If McCain loses the older voter, he may as well pack up and go home.

abi said...

I had a great response to that, Kathy, but I forgot what it was. ;-)

dmarks said...

"That's quite a bit different from the description in the Free Press."

The Free Pres is left wing, and general pro-Obama. No real reason to think they'd be pro McCain in their bias. (The Detroit News is the right-wing paper in the city, and is almost unknown).

As for those workers being against free-and-fair trade, I bet a bunch of them have Hondas and Toyatas in their garage instead of choosing to get American cars, which are still shoddy and below-par.

Michigan's unions are the architects of the state's recession and are fighting hard to protect low-skill jobs that pay over $70 an hour: forcing, as usual, the companies to close factories, downsize, or leave the country.

kia auto parts said...
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