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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Did The New York Times Article Help McCain?

Rasmussen says opinion of the New York Times has only a 24 per cent favorable rating. Even more interestingly, they point out McCain moved ahead of Obama in general election match-ups, only after the controversial New York Times article.
After a recent New York Times article that has been widely criticized for reporting innuendo and rumor as news, many have been asking if the article harmed John McCain or helped him overall.

Rasmussen polls opinions about the New York Times and finds that only 24 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion about the newspaper and 44 percent have an unfavorable opinion while 31 percent are not sure.

The Rasmussen results show more than just the favorable/unfavorable ratings for the paper though.

The Times recently became enmeshed in controversy over an article published concerning John McCain. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the nation’s likely voters say they have followed that story at least somewhat closely.

Of those who followed the story, 66% believe it was an attempt by the paper to hurt the McCain campaign. Just 22% believe the Times was simply reporting the news. Republicans, by an 87% to 9% margin, believe the paper was trying to hurt McCain’s chances of winning the White House. Democrats are evenly divided.

Following a link from that article that shows that McCain had trailed Barack Obama nationally prior to release of the New York Times article, we are led to the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Report, which states "McCain has consistently held a modest lead over Clinton but he moved ahead of Obama only after publication of the controversial New York Times article last week."

As of that poll, released February 27, 2008, John McCain is now leading both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in general election match-ups. McCain now leads Obama 46 percent to 43 percent and Clinton 48 percent to 43 percent.

In the short time since the original New York Time article was published, many a writer has written about it, including many at Digital Journal, but as the Rasmussen report shows, it is quite possible that the New York Times attempt to influence public opinion worked splendidly, but perhaps not in the direction they wished to assert that influence.

It is likely, according to the recent numbers that their "agenda" driven article might have worked far better in John McCain's favor than it did in damaging him in any way.

The word backfire comes to mind here......

[Update] Rasmussen brings MORE good news for McCain..

McCain is trusted more by 55% of voters when it comes to National Security issues. Obama is trusted more by just 30% on this point. Just half (51%) of Democrats express more trust in Obama than McCain on national security. Unaffiliated voters prefer McCain by a two-to-one margin.

McCain’s advantage on other issues is far smaller.

On Iraq, McCain has a much smaller advantage—49% trust McCain while 39% prefer Obama. Democrats, by a 61% to 22% margin, prefer Obama. Republicans overwhelmingly prefer McCain (83% to 12%). Unaffiliated voters are more evenly divided—46% prefer McCain while 41% prefer Obama.

When it comes to the economy, 45% prefer McCain while 39% trust Obama more.