Based both on news coverage and on talking to people, I have been assuming that the Jeremiah Wright flap had done some real and lasting damage to Barack Obama’s standing with the voters.
Maybe it did. But the latest CBS News/NYT poll doesn’t show it.
In late Feburary, Obama’s favorable/unfavorable was 45/23.
In mid-March, after the flap, it was 44/28, suggesting maybe a little bit of damage.
This week, it’s back to 43/24.
NBC also shows little change from early March (pre-Wright) to late March (post-Wright).
Very positive 24 (-1) [McCain 14]
Somewhat positive 25 (-1) [McCain 31]
Neutral 18 (0) [McCain 26]
Somewhat negative 16 (+3) [McCain 15]
Very negative 16 (+1) [McCain 10]
Of course, maybe Obama’s “favorables” have gotten less enthusiastic, his “unfavorables” more hostile, and the “undecideds” now lean against him rather than for him. But if so, it’s happening mostly below the surface.
Looking at these numbers it seems a tad far-fetched to imagine that, even in a Democatic year, McCain’s personal popularity is going to bring this one home for the Republicans.