The poll, which found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent, supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race narrowed after the third debate as GOP-leaning voters drifted home to their party and McCain’s “Joe the plumber” analogy struck a chord.
“I trust McCain more, and I do feel that he has more experience in government than Obama. I don’t think Obama has been around long enough,” said Angela Decker, 44, of La Porte, Ind.
McCain’s strong showing is partly attributable to his strong debate performance; Thursday was his best night of the survey.
During their final debate, a feisty McCain repeatedly forced Obama to defend his record, comments and associations. He also used the story of a voter whom the Democrat had met in Ohio, “Joe the plumber,” to argue that Obama’s tax plan would be bad for working class voters.
“I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” Obama told the man with the last name of Wurzelbacher, who had asked Obama whether his plan to increase taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year would impede his ability to buy the plumbing company where he works.
On Wednesday, McCain’s campaign unveiled a new TV ad that features that Obama quote, and shows different people saying: “I’m Joe the plumber.” A man asks: “Obama wants my sweat to pay for his trillion dollars in new spending?”
Since McCain has seized on that line of argument, he has picked up support among white married people and non-college educated whites, the poll shows, while widening his advantage among white men. Black voters still overwhelmingly support Obama.
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