The Thrill is Gone

Massachusetts is famous as a state that votes blindly for Democrats - even when it means standing alone as the only state to favor George McGovern in 1972. It's the state that offered Mike Dukakis and John Kerry to the slaughter, and which only sends Democrats to Washington.

Last month, Barack Obama had a big lead here. Today, things are different.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's lead in Massachusetts has plummeted 14 percentage points since June, a new Suffolk University-7 news poll shows.

Mr. Obama leads Republican John McCain 47 percent to 38, down from a 23 point spread in June...
Wow. Where is the damage being done? Let's see. First, those with enough life experience to know better are concerned over his rookie status.

Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos said questions of experience and race appear to be at play, with older voters showing doubts about whether Mr. Obama, a former state lawmaker with four years under his belt in the U.S. Senate, has enough experience to take over as the nation's chief executive officer and commander in chief of its military.

The independent voters who the pundits tell us will decide this race are wavering....

Among independents, Mr. Obama's lead is down 15 percentage points to 1...

And he's not doing too well with folks in their middle years, either!

...his 25 point lead with voters between the ages of 46 and 55 is down to two points.

How about men?

Male voters also have swung heavily since June with Mr. Obama's 22 percentage point lead down to six.

The Boston Herald, covering last night's Barack Birthday Fundraiser in Boston, got the feeling the Hillary factor can't be underestimated.

“Clearly, they can’t take their base for granted,” said a slighted Clinton supporter and high-profile lawmaker who asked not to be named. “Especially in light of the fact that McCain can draw from working-class Democrats.’

If the Obama campaign thinks that raising money from wealthy suburbanites and drawing large crowds of college students to speeches will translate into votes, it may have a surprise on the way.

But Obama spokeswoman Gannet Tseggai pointed to the $5 million fund-raiser in the Hub last night as proof the Illinois senator has cultivated Clinton supporters.

As is the case nationally, Democrats in Mass are less supportive of Barack than the GOP is of McCain.

McCain has support from 15 percent of Democrats in Massachusetts and 87 percent of Republicans, while Obama has support from 74 percent of Democrats, according to the new poll.