"One of the most interesting political videos on YouTube features a young Obama supporter, Derrick Ashong. A camera-wielding interviewer collars Mr. Ashong in the street and starts to pepper him with questions. The interviewer assumes that his victim's casual appearance -- he is wearing a baseball hat, a shell necklace and is chewing gum -- betokens an equally casual approach to politics."
"'Do you have any specifics?' he demands aggressively. 'What are their policies?'"
As The Economist points out, "Over 30% of American call themselves Independents -- more than call themselves Republicans and about the same as call themselves Democrats. These Independents are younger and better educated than average Americans. They are pragmatic, anti-ideological and results-oriented, hostile to both Big Labor and Big Government, but quite prepared to see the government take an active role in dealing with problems like global warming."
How will such Independents align themselves when they find out Obama is a believer in Big Government and has a 100% favorable voting record in favor of Big Labor? Clearly, John McCain believes most of them will vote for him -- and there's no reason now to dispute his view.
Currently, Obama has a high approval rating (62%) among Independents. However, when voters discover that Obama doesn't have an independent bone in his body, his approval rating should go down -- perhaps resembling a rock thrown in a pond. When it becomes clear that Obama is the most liberal member of the Senate, he will lose much of his current standing with Independents.
What is McCain's potential appeal to the critical bloc of Independents? As The Economist explains, "The very qualities of Mr. McCain that infuriate Republic conservatives endear him to Independents. . . . Mr. McCain has demonstrated his [voting] strength among Independents: he led the field among them by ten points in New York, 23 points in California and 31 points in Illinois."