Talking Points Memo: Fox Poll: Nearly Two-Thirds Say Ayers Makes No Difference To Their Vote

Talking Points Memo

Fox Poll: Nearly Two-Thirds Say Ayers Makes No Difference To Their Vote

These numbers, buried in the internals of a new Fox News poll out today, are the first time a national poll has tried to gauge the impact of Barack Obama’s association with William Ayers. And the numbers are pretty bad for McCain:

Strikingly, the numbers are worse for McCain among independents: Only 29% say the Ayers association makes them less likely to vote for Obama, and more than twice as many — 64% — say it makes no difference. The data suggests that the vast majority of the respondents saying it makes them less likely to vote for Obama are Republicans, who probably wouldn’t have supported him anyway.

There has been some discussion of Barack Obama’s relationship with the former radical activist William Ayers. Because Ayers is linked to plots to bomb the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol in the 1970s, and because Ayres recently said he wished he had done more, some people say Obama’s association with Ayers calls into question his judgment. Does Obama’s connection with Ayers make you less likely to vote for him for president or does it not really make a difference to your vote?

Less Likely 32%

No Difference 61%

A quick additional point on this. Obviously this attack isn’t really about Ayers; it’s about sowing vague doubts about Obama’s patriotism and background. Whether that dimension of the attack is working is harder to measure, and may not be perfectly reflected in the answers to direct pollster questions about Ayers. Still, the above numbers are striking.

 

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