As he emerges from a sometimes- bitter primary campaign, presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain poses a stiff challenge to either of his potential Democratic opponents in the general election, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.
The findings underscore the difficulties ahead for Democrats as they hope to retake the White House during a time of war, with voters giving McCain far higher marks when it comes to experience, fighting terrorism and dealing with the situation in Iraq.
Both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have made ending America’s involvement in the war a centerpiece of their campaigns. And even though a clear majority of those polled said the war was not worth waging, about half of registered voters said McCain — a Vietnam vet who has supported the Bush administration’s military strategy — was better able to deal with Iraq.
In head-to-head contests, the poll found, McCain leads Clinton by 6 percentage points (46% to 40%) and Obama by 2 points (44% to 42%). Neither lead is commanding given that the survey, conducted Feb. 21-25, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The Arizona senator is viewed favorably by 61% of all registered voters, including a plurality of Democrats
So, not only does McCain beat both Hillary and Obama in head-to-head match ups, but when it comes to dealing with the most important issues facing our country, McCain clearly has an edge as well.
This is good news, but we shouldn’t give too much weight to these polls. For starters, various other polls have shown different results, and a poll — even a scientific one — isn’t going be able to account for voter turnout factors, particularly the potential effect an Obama candidacy in the general election on the youth and minority votes, both of which lean Democrat.
But, liberals should stop pretending they have a landslide victory coming for them.