Poll: McCain holds big lead in South

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain enjoys a 16-point lead — 51 percent to 35 percent — among Southern voters over rival Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, a new poll by Winthrop University and ETV shows.

And, the further into the South you go, the larger McCain’s lead grows, the poll of likely voters in 11 Southern states shows.

Likely voters in the Deep South — those in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina — preferred McCain by a 25-point margin, 56 percent to 31 percent.

Southern voters said what they want most in a president is honesty, experience and shared values. Southern voters rated McCain ahead of Obama in each of those categories.

McCain’s strongest support comes from white working-class Southerners — who favor him by a 34-point margin — and white evangelicals — who favor the Arizonan by 54 percentage points.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsUS Presidential Election 2008

20 Comments
Posted August 27, 2008 at 2:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. azusa wrote:

Obama was never gonna take those states. Virginia and Florida are more contentious. McCain’s new ad on Obama and Iran aims at Fla. Jews. The battleground states remain Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, NM, & maybe NH.
Could Romney flip Michigan and NH?

August 27, 4:33 pm | [comment link]
2. Billy wrote:

#1, “those states” include GA, and the Dems have declared it a battleground state, though those of us who live here don’t really believe it.

August 27, 4:48 pm | [comment link]
3. Scott K wrote:

I’m slightly amazed that that evangelicals favor McCain by such a wide margin - maybe it’s a Southern thing.  Other than the issue of abortion, which I completely understand favoring McCain, Obama seems to the the candidate more frequently espousing what most evangelicals would equate with gospel values: care for the poor and needy, reluctance to use force or violence, care for the environment.  He’s got more obvious “church cred” than McCain, and talks more readily about his faith in ways that should resonate with evangelicals.
I’m not saying McCain is a bad candidate - I like him a lot - I just figure him to be the most evangelical-friendly candidate that the Democrats could possibly field running against a fairly non-religious Republican.  I just find it interesting and I wonder how that would compare to a poll of evangelicals in other parts of the country.

August 27, 5:02 pm | [comment link]
4. TridentineVirginian wrote:

#4 - “Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”
Abortion is a foundational issue - you know, 40 million+ murdered children since R v W - in light of this and his ardent, over the top support of the practice, well it makes me slightly amazed that you are slightly amazed at his unpopularity amongst the devout.

August 27, 5:36 pm | [comment link]
5. Branford wrote:

More “church cred” than McCain - with Rev. Wright???? You might want to talk directly to some Southern evangelicals and get their take on that!

August 27, 5:57 pm | [comment link]
6. KevinBabb wrote:

My Tridentine Friend is correct. It absolutely boggles my mind how the Democrats trying to play to Evangelicals just “don’t get it”...they think that they can “trade” infanticide for Darfur, national health care, expanded nutritional programs, or any other form of government programs that will not be inconsistent with the the continued slaughter of the innocents (which they need to keep their base), while gently tipping their hats in the direction of Matthew 25.  The very fact that they take such an approach shows their cynical and exploitative approach to the Gospel.

August 27, 6:21 pm | [comment link]
7. Mike L wrote:

And what did the Republican party accomplish with 6 years of White House, Congress, and Supremes control in regard to curtailing or halting legalized abortion? They do talk a good show about it though.

August 27, 6:49 pm | [comment link]
8. Branford wrote:

Mike L - the following are not my words, but a post by Sarah Hey posted at Stand Firm:

Regarding abortion—other than the overturn of the appalling Supreme Court case, it has been an unbelievably wonderful several years.  I have many complaints about Bush—but not his pro-life stances and decisions.

Here’s what’s happened over the past several years:

—the courts upheld growing restrictions on abortion, including on, of course, the repellent practice of partial birth abortion
—as a result, states got to pass informed consent laws,
—require ultrasounds prior to abortion
—force abortion mills to operate according to the same standards as other outpatient surgical clinics

All of that led to:

—closures of private abortion mills
—in some states—like Mississippi—no institution that takes state money can perform abortions
—abortions reduced by 20% since 1990

In my own city, the major abortion mill closed down.

In addition, Bush eliminated government funding for fetal stem cell research, something I might add that McCain wants to add back.

No, the last several years have been incredibly successful regarding abortion—and cultural advances have been made, as well.  The percentage of Americans who do not approve of or accept abortions is growing steadily.  There is a cultural shift going on.

Furthermore, Bush appointed Supreme Court justices who will not somehow “discover” the new right to killing fetuses—so were a similar case to come up again before the Supreme Court, we are in better shape now than ever in the past 30 years on the SC.

I say all of that, having no intention to vote for either main candidate.  But it’s important that those of us—whether members of the party of the Republicans or Democrats or Independents like me—who loathe abortion and recognize it for the bloody sin of our country’s past more than three decades also recognize the dramatic successes that have occurred over the past several years.

I’m not sure if I agree that’s it’s been a wonderful several years, but I do agree that a cultural shift is happening and that the Republicans are more apt to encourage that shift to right to life than the Democrats.

August 27, 7:12 pm | [comment link]
9. TWilson wrote:

Unfortunately for McCain, the South doesn’t elect the president. The electoral college does, and there Obama holds a clear edge. Obama has a >5% margin in states controlling 255 electoral votes; McCain holds a similar edge in states controlling 176. Of the 97 electoral votes in states that are within 5% for either candidate, Obama needs only 15 electoral votes. If he holds Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Colorado, it’s over. But with a larger war chest and with McCain having to fight more battles, Obama can go after Virginia, North Carolina, and some places in the upper plains that are usually solid Republican. We’re a long way out, but in the count that really matters, Obama is in a stronger position than McCain.

August 27, 7:42 pm | [comment link]
10. libraryjim wrote:

Unfortunately for W. Bush, the committees he needed for judicial approval were all controlled by the Dems, such as Joe Biden (who spent both of his question times with Justice Roberts on a tirade for 45 minutes each without asking a single question!).

Thus it was ensured that W. could NOT put his strongest and best choices on the court. In fact, I believe that there are still vacancies in other federal court positions because the Judicial Committee will not allow the nominees to be approved for hearings.

I fear that it will be the same with McCain, when he tries to appoint new justices to the SCOTUS.

August 27, 10:07 pm | [comment link]
11. libraryjim wrote:

It should also be pointed out that instead of the traditional ‘bump’ a candidate gets upon announcing a running-mate, Obama’s ratings actually FELL.

August 27, 10:15 pm | [comment link]
12. montanan wrote:

Mike L. - #8 - Bush put two Supreme Court justices on the bench who are strict constructionists.  The next president will have opportunity to appoint a number of justices, as well.  To argue Roe v. Wade should have been overturned by now is phenomenally naive.  He did a great job in this one area of his job - and it will be one of his finest legacies.  (You can certainly debate how long or how short his list of positive legacies will be, but I don’t think this one aspect of it is in question - assuming one believe in the right to life).

August 28, 2:53 am | [comment link]
13. Chris wrote:

#10, I’m pretty sure both Dukakis and Kerry (maybe Gore as well) had similar leads in their respective races at this point in their campaigns…..

August 28, 10:44 am | [comment link]
14. TWilson wrote:

#14 - Not sure on Gore or Dukakis. On Kerry, he never had leads (or was within 15%) in places where Obama is competitive: Montana, SD, ND. Kerry also never led in Virginia (now tied), or NC (narrow Mc). And Kerry was tight but lost in places like Colorado, Iowa, and NM where Obama is stronger. I think McCain has a tougher fight, even if the national-level polls are close.

August 28, 11:16 am | [comment link]
15. Carol R wrote:

Us Southern evangelicals can’t stop clinging to our guns and our religion long enough to consider supporting Obama.  Oh and we’re suspicious of people who are different from us, too.

August 28, 12:29 pm | [comment link]
16. libraryjim wrote:

Yeah, Carol, but that’s only because we are bitter at the Government for not giving us more handouts.

August 28, 4:31 pm | [comment link]
17. libraryjim wrote:

oops, to repeat and continue:

Yeah, Carol, but that’s only because we are bitter at the Government for not giving us more handouts. 

Obama promises that he will take that bitterness away so we won’t need God or guns or antipathy towards those who are not like us any more.

August 28, 4:32 pm | [comment link]
18. libraryjim wrote:

Hopper,
Your blind loyalty is admirable.  Sad, but admirable.

wink

JE

August 29, 9:37 am | [comment link]
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