McCain's Favorability at Eight-Year High
10:49 AM, Mar 18, 2008 • By GARY ANDRES
How John McCain influences the Republican brand--or how it impacts him--over the next few months will provide some clues about the party's prospects in this fall's down ballot congressional races. The GOP continues to struggle with its overall image among voters. The party's standing in the generic congressional ballot has not changed significantly since 2006 according to Gallup.
But here's an encouraging twist. When polls compare who voters trust to handle issues, McCain generally runs ahead of his party.
Part of the reason could come down to likeability. While no one confuses John McCain with a loveable teddy bear, he does quite well with Americans on the question of favorability. In fact, as the campaign progresses, his numbers continue to rise on this critical measure. The most recent Gallup poll shows he is better liked than both Senators Obama and Clinton. Further, the survey finds the Arizona Senator's likeability is at an eight-year high.
Will these numbers hold up as the campaign progresses? And will McCain's favorability pull his party's brand up or will the sullied GOP image drag him down? Too soon to tell, but these questions bear close watching as McCain transitions from a Republican candidate for president to the leader of his party post-nomination.