I've been saying for some time now that many Democrats, while awed by Sen. Barack Obama's public speaking skills, charisma and inspirational talk of "change," see him as an empty suit who lacks the political skills, foreign policy experience and overall gravitas to be president. As a result, the fear is that many of the more centrist Dems will switch to GOP nominee Sen. John McCain come November. I've also been saying, and this points to a still-ugly truth facing 2008 America, that race will play a big role as well. A new Pew Research survey released Friday confirms these inherent challenges of Obama's campaign.
The poll reports that 14 percent of Democrats would vote for McCain instead of Obama, but that just 8 percent of Republicans would vote for the Illinois Democrat. These numbers don't support Obama's countless stump speeches that he's been pulling Republicans into his camp as the choice cross-over candidate. The survey indicates just the opposite is happening.
More troubling, however, is the 20 percent of white Democratic voters who said they would defect to McCain if Obama is the nominee. Even more alarming is that this figure is twice that of those who said they'd defect if Clinton wins the nomination. Again, Democrats who deny this reality are delusional. Sadly, America is still a very racist nation with lots of very ignorant people.
Additionally, there's concern that Obama could face a stiff battle in the Democratic bastion of California. A brand new poll commissioned by the National Campaign Fund shows that McCain can win that heretofore untouchable state. The poll states "When voters learn of Obama’s support of licenses to illegal aliens, they become far less likely to support him. They are also far less likely to support Obama when they learn of his support for more spending, to be funded by higher taxes."
To be sure, Obama is in trouble for the first time in his golden campaign. He has not bounced back well since his huge losses to Clinton Tuesday in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island, appearing weakened and at a crossroads. He's now faced with the dilemma of staying the "above-the-fray" course and looking like a non-fighter against the more aggressive, calculating Clinton, or, getting down and dirty with her until April 22nd's Pennsylvania primary, and thus turning off myriad supporters--including the idealistic youth vote--who bought the old "politics of hope" Obama and not the "dirty-politics-as-usual" desperate one. Can he all of a sudden turn on a dime and become a street fighter and not turn off his base? I highly doubt it.
Case in point: look at what's happening to team-Obama. Friday morning his Foreign Policy Advisor Samantha Power "resigned" (read: was fired) after referring to Clinton, in an interview with the Scottish newspaper The Scotsman, as a "monster" who will stoop to anything to win. In my opinion, this is just the beginning. I suspect more heads will soon roll in the Obama camp as his campaign appears to flounder in the face of Clinton's resurgence.
On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.