October 1st, 2008
06:42 PM ET

What John McCain needs to fix

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Editor's note: See John King's full report on shifting polls in key battleground states on AC360° tonight at 10p ET.

John King
CNN Chief National Correspondent

John McCain has a problem with Baby Boomers – and if he doesn't fix it, it's hard to map out a Republican Electoral College victory.

First a national look: two weeks ago, a Pew Research Center poll showed McCain leading Obama 48 percent to 43 percent among voters in the 50 to 64 age group.

But in a new survey released Wednesday, Obama leads among those voters 51 percent to 39 percent.

One poll does not warrant panic.

But some new CNN battleground state polling shows a similar trend – as voters who are closing in on retirement, and who therefore arguably have the most immediately at stake in the financial crisis, trend toward the Democratic candidate.

Take Missouri, for example. In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll three weeks ago, McCain had a narrow statewide lead - 50 percent to 45 percent.

A new survey released Wednesday, though, shows a statistical dead head: 49 percnet for Obama and 48 percent for McCain.

Again, a slide among Baby Boomers is a major factor in McCain's decline. In the early September Missouri poll, McCain led 53 percent to 44 percent among voters 50 and older. In the new Missouri poll, the two candidates are tied at 48 percent in this age group.

It is much the same in battleground Florida: Two weeks ago, the state was a tie; now Obama has a narrow lead, 51 percent to 47 percent.

And among those 50 and older?

Two weeks ago: it was McCain 48 percent, Obama 47 percent.
In the new poll, taken Sept 28-30: It was Obama 51 percent and McCain 46 percent.

Filed under: Barack Obama • John King • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Sarah Palin HAS TO GO

    Enough is Enough – Sarah Palin has to go. She should be gracious enough to bow out of the race before the VP debate tonight where I am afraid she will do more harm than good for the party. Please Sarah for the good of the party –

    October 2, 2008 at 11:30 am |
  2. Khaleeshi

    Replace Sarah Palin

    October 2, 2008 at 11:07 am |
  3. Chuck (Virginia)

    McCain's final roll of the dice: dump Palin and get a running mate who does not embarrass America.

    October 2, 2008 at 11:04 am |
  4. Mike

    Looks like the republicans are not happy and trying to link Obama to Rev. wrights and some other folks again. Listen fellas, we know this story and we know people makes mistakes and learn from there. Obama did learn from his mistakes and now more matured and determind then ever. What Mr. Mccain learned from his mistakes in his life??? Making more mistakes!!!! Look what he is doing now. He does not know economy, does not want to fix the broken foreign policy (as he is supporting Bush's foreign policy 100% of his time). He is a flip flopper. We don't want our social security to be privatized and then pay more to bail it out. That's what the Mc.Palin plan is with our SS money. Think about yourself. Don't think racially or politically. Think about our economy. Think deeply who can and will fix the economy better. Don't get emotional on this big crisis. We have a clear choice who can handle the economy better. If you believe it's Mccain then go for it. But I believe it's OBAMA. Thanks and good luck

    October 1, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  5. Orlando

    I am a veteran from the U.S Marines Corps, a former Sergeant. He has to stop crying for sympathy claiming that he was a prisoner of war. off course, a POW is someone who could not fight until death or was captured because he could not do his job.
    Evidence, he graduated bottom five of his class. They made a mistake sending him to war. But, it seems like he wanted to make a name, to seek attention.
    Real heros are not out on TV claiming that they were POW.

    October 1, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  6. jhon. A

    McCain has changed its title 3 times as a sign of desperation to secure slogan (change )of obama that is used from him all the time on his campaign. They will do the impossible to win, using dirty tactics always used by Republicans. they want to rule the country for a single party and form a tyranny. I hope doesn't work this time !!!!!!

    October 1, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  7. Melissa

    Does this really surprise anyone? His ideas don't fit with the modern mindset. And babyboomers are at just the right time and right numbers.

    October 1, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  8. Diana

    In 2000 I would have voted for John McCain hands down. He was the man I thought the country needed to led us forward. I loved the man, I loved that he was a true hero, and I believed in his word. I didn't like a lot of things he said or did, but he was steady.

    I have no idea what happened to the John McCain of 2000. Maybe he has PTSD-Chronic-Delayed-Reaction, the choices he's been making the last month, tell me something is wrong. I don't know.

    I do know that I just don't think that after watching Bush's arrogant smirk for 8 years I really don't want to watch John McCain's.

    October 1, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  9. Alex

    It is over for John McCain. The irony is that he shot himself in the foot with this economic issue and without the help of any Democrat. He just proved that what the Democrats have said all along, He is nothing more than the second coming of George W. Bush. I have supported John McCain from the beginning and fall into the mentioned age group, 50 – 64. But I am not stupid and will not vote for a man who says one thing and then does the opposite no matter his party affiliation. If you think I'm pissed off now, I will do my best to vote out EVERY single and solitary Republican in Congress who is the incumbant. This is not the same Republican Party I signed onto many many years ago. Get the message folks?

    October 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  10. Joe

    I can't believe how anyone who has lived in this country for the past 10yrs at least can vote for the Republicans with McCain/Palin on the ticket. Unless you are the top CEOs with the golden parachute. When you hire a company or individual to a job and they fail miserably, you've got to fire them. Especially, if they lie to you and try to blame someone else. It is that simple for me. I hired them for 8rs and they blew it. Someone else turn. I'll take the chance.

    October 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  11. Angie

    It is amazing that in the 21st Century, we as Americans are allowing our old fears and prejudices cloud our judgement or lack thereof. Most people are chosing not to vote for Obama because of bad propaganda and the Republican agenda of creating fear. Here you have a combination of an Ivy Leage graduate, brilliant attorney/a veteran US Senator, who is well versed on foreign affairs and can help restore our image abroad. On the other camp, you have the combo of another veteran senator who is a war hero and a misfit ex-beauty queen, who could not even come up with a name of a major newspaper during an interview. We keep hearing that she has led the National Guard of Alaska, lead to what? Did Senator McCain really think that throwing a woman candidate on the ticket would help him get the Hilary Clinton supporters? Is that really his opinion of 18 million women from lower to upper class, from highly educated woman to those with limited education. We don't vote because we have a similar anatomy, we vote because the person has our best interest and that of the country first. I say Palin needs to bow out gracefully by saying that she wants to be a stay at home mother and help her teenage daughters remember the importance of abstinence and teach them those wonderful family values she is shoving down our throat!

    October 1, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  12. Nora

    McCain said he won't torture himself over a decision, and he lives with his decision without regret. This shows how arrogant he is. It is perfectly ok if he only makes decision for himself. Not as a president. We don't want to live a regretable life because of his decision making style.

    October 1, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  13. OswaldP

    I think baby boomers are seeing through McCain's ploys. He has changed his label so many times McCain himself doesn't know whether to call hiself a maverick, experienced, or change candidate. Everytime Obama claims something, McCains comes after him repeating the same thing. The Straight Talk Express is now the McGaffe Express. Now he tells NPR that he is getting foreign policy advice from Palin! I don't think it is funny any more. I am getting scared every day: What if he gets elected?

    October 1, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  14. Donna

    Nothing to fix–despite his best efforts, the genuine McCain has started to show. He's a mean-spirited, spoiled, arrogant little (in every sense) person who lacks honesty and integrity. Despite all the money and all the dissembling and all the efforts, the polls reflect that the American public has seen beneath the surface and don't like what's there.

    October 1, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  15. Lisa ,NC

    You are woefully misinformed. Do you make $250,000 a year. If the answer is yes, then you will be taxed and if the answer is no, then you will not have any tax increase. Now your buddy John, he is going to tax you! If you are happy with Bush policy, then McCain is your man. I can't believe people are still swallowing the tired old Republican mantra, "The democrats are going to raise your taxes" That line is as old as McCain.

    October 1, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  16. judy mitchell

    If Obama were white, McCain and rest of GOP would be history right now! obama is presidential. McCain looks like he is a day away from a stroke and Palin would have to be impeached if that were the case and I don't think Congress knows how to do that. Certainly didn't work with Clinton. GOP TOO SCARY. Americans cannot afford to take a chance on him with Palin just offstage. GOP closet bigotry represents a very serious threat to the security, stability and strength of the USA. Their bigotry and evangelical support is more important to GOP than their country.

    October 1, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
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