John McCain has been defined as dangerously angry. From talking heads to voters, there’s a festoon of opinion that John McCain looked angry last night.
Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg ran a dial-group with 45 undecided voters in St. Louis during the debate, polling them before and after to judge how the event changed their reactions to Obama and McCain. The group was mostly middle-aged, split evenly among education and class lines, and was heavily comprised of Bush 2004 voters […]
Both candidates saw their net favorability ratings rise over the course of the evening. McCain started off with a 22-point net and gained 9 points. But Obama went from a 6-point net favorability to plus-45, a shift of 39 points that placed him higher than McCain at the end of the debate (69% versus 62%).
McCain was seen as the more negative of the two-by 7 points before the debate and by 26 points after. The audience did not like it when he went after Obama for being “naïve” or used his oft-repeated “what Senator Obama doesn’t understand” line. When the two clashed directly in the second half of the debate, with Obama repeatedly protesting McCain’s characterization of his statements or positions, the voter dials went down. Voters appear to have judged McCain too negative in those encounters and Obama more favorably.”
This is going to be a hard narrative for McCain to overcome. With less than 40 days left in the election McCain’s campaign has already declared all out war on everyone from Russia to the NY Times. They are widely viewed as dangerously confrontational, and I don’t see how they can successfully reverse this perception in a month’s time without looking like they’re pandering.
While Obama is seen as cool, McCain is seen as angry. Last night solidified that perception of both candidates.