New polling from the Associated Press indicates that independent voters seem to be even split between Obama and McCain. If the polling is correct, it’s good news for Obama since a split of independents might give him a win. McCain will need to peel off some more for a victory in November.
Report from Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON – Jack Marshall says he’s voting for Barack Obama this year. That’s ominous news for John McCain.
“I like Obama, he has fresh ideas on things,” said Marshall, 59, an independent who hasn’t backed a Democrat for president since Bill Clinton. “McCain has George Bush’s ideas on things, and I don’t think that’s such a hot deal right now.”
Independents like Marshall, an unemployed chemist from Drexel Hill, Pa., are a quarter of voters right now. A recent Associated Press-GfK Poll showed them divided about evenly, 44 percent for Obama and 41 percent for McCain.
Some years, that wouldn’t be so bad for the Republican presidential nominee. But because Democrats decisively outnumber Republicans this year, McCain needs an edge among independents to help close that gap.
“He’s got to win a majority of independents in order to win the presidency, obviously,” said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster not working for McCain. With minority voters heavily favoring Obama, McCain has to win white independents in particular, Ayres said. That group comprised three-quarters of independents and leaned slightly toward the Republican in the AP-GfK Poll.
Earlier this year, independents were a strength for both contenders. Obama, the Illinois senator, and his mantra of change won independents in Democratic primaries while McCain, the Arizona senator, was the choice of independents in the Republican contests.
They will most likely be the deciders since many of them are currently in the undecided column.