McCain’s Negatives

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Greg Sargent rightly points out that Hillary is not the only front-runner whose negatives suggest otherwise:

Hillary Clinton: Definitely would, 27%; Would consider, 26%; Definitely would not, 45%

John McCain: Definitely would, 12%; Would consider, 39%; Definitely would not, 47%

As you can see, McCain has edged higher than Hillary in the “definitely would not” category. WaPo comments that McCain “has become significantly less acceptable as a general-election candidate. A year ago, 28 percent of Americans said they ‘definitely would not vote’ for him if he were to become the Republican nominee.” That’s a jump of nearly 20 points.

I hadn’t seen such concrete evidence that McCain’s reputation has tarnished so badly. One wonders what, exactly, was the corrosive element. Sargent suspects his support for the surge, I would guess it’s the war plus his general air of defensiveness and lack of energy — and the lingering appearance of hypocrisy in his embrace of Bush. In any case, twenty points in a year is not an especially steep fall but it’s a far one. The singing thing may have actually helped with the GOP base (if comments on right wing blogs are anything to go by; I suggest he consider delivering all his policy statements in song), but he does seem to be slipping with the core crowd of moderates who really want to like him, and who he can’t win the general without.