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Obama: Poll Says Wright Controversy Didn’t Hurt Him

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC national poll says that the controversy over Jeremiah Wright didn’t hurt Obama. Not only has he held against Hillary Clinton (they’re in a dead heat at 45% each, as opposed to two weeks ago when Clinton was 47% to his 43%), but his numbers relative to McCain haven’t moved (he’s 42% to McCain’s 44%, virtually the same as in the previous poll).

If I was some unholy spawn of Lee Atwater crawling out of the Hellmouth and beholding this statistic, I’d be scratching my head and wondering what I was going to do for an encore. That Wright video played in constant rotation on cable news, more people probably witnessed it than saw that kid from Tennessee crying "LEAVE BRITNEY ALOOOOONE!!…" A cooperative media could not possibly given it more exposure, and positioned it to toggle every White American panic button it could. And the result was…nada. Nothing.

The whole media push came straight out of the GOP playbook for November, and it barely registered. If you’d asked me yesterday I would have said the odds for the fall were 60% McCain, 35% Obama, 5% Clinton. But Obama stood up to the Wright attacks well, so I’m putting it today at 50% McCain, 45% Obama, 5% Clinton (and that 5% is just factoring in wildcard stuff, I don’t really think there’s any shot at the nomination that can be seen from here, but having been through other elections — you just never know.)

On his own merits, I don’t think there’s any doubt Obama is the strongest candidate in the race. But he doesn’t have McCain’s leg up in the media, and the unquestioning way that the country accepts the MSM’s narratives — even, as this race has proven, much of the blogosphere — is going to continue to be a problem that favors McCain. Look at the insane advantage the Democrats have when it comes to primary turnout, and yet the national polls still show McCain in the lead. The GOP may not have as easy a time as they anticipated jacking up Obama’s negatives, but it’s going to be awfully hard to punch holes in McCain’s media armour as well.

When it comes to anything negative about St. John the Divine, the mascara of the barbecue set just starts a-runnin’. They just dooooon’t want to hear it.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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