September 8th, 2008
03:08 PM ET
6 years ago

Candidates talk change to sway undecided

Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin call themselves the 'original mavericks' in a new TV ad.
Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin call themselves the 'original mavericks' in a new TV ad.

(CNN) - As the candidates try to win over undecided voters, both Republicans and Democrats are pushing a message of change.

CNN's latest "poll of polls" shows Sen. John McCain leading Sen. Barack Obama 47 percent to 46 percent.

Monday's poll of polls shows that 7 percent of voters are undecided - enough to push either candidate over the top.

With the election less than two months away, the candidates have limited time to sway undecided voters who hold the election in their hands.

According to John Avlon, author of "Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics," independent and swing voters are looking for a break from the Bush administration.

"What they're looking for in this campaign is a candidate who's going to end the hyper-partisanship in Washington and who's going to have credibility on reducing spending, but also sort of the antidote to the Bush administration," he said on CNN's "American Morning." "They've been - instead of fiscally conservative - fiscally liberal and socially conservative, and that's the opposite of what independents and swing voters want."

Change essentially means new people and new policies, said Bill Schneider, CNN's senior political analyst.

"It's exactly the theme that people want for this year after eight years of the Bush administration," he said. "But the big puzzle in this election is - what's the best way to get that?"

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. MIKE

    WHAT WILL COME NEXT...FROM THE GOP...THEY MIGHT CLAIM THEY ARE DEMS JUST TO GET VOTES. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT HAS BEEN OBAMA'S SLOGAN FROM THE START HE NEVER CHANGED IT..PLS TELL MCPALIN TO STICK TO THEIR STRAIGHT LIES EXPRESS AND TO XEROX BO'S SLOGAN...THINK FOR URSELF LIKE U ALWAYS CLAIM TO BE...AS FOR PALIN KEEP UP WITH THE GREAT LIES IT WILL CATCH UP TO YOU SOON.
    FROM CHICAGO

    September 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Uncle Fester

    The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square September 8th, 2008 3:47 pm ET

    If you think Palin is tough wait til you meet Putin.

    Right. Palin is so tough that she can't even face questions from the press. Campbell Brown is to tough for her.

    September 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Joe

    They are going to lies their way to the white house, only blood sucker
    will vote for them.

    September 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    I don't know. I think McCain and Palin both lack what this country needs. Aside from Palin's ridiculous past which is riddled in scandal already (mind you, it's only been ten days since she's been "vetted" which I find hard to say), which I don't believe I need to go into detail for, or McCain's total lack of what is going on in today's society, I just don't think believe either of them, no matter how hard I try, can bring change to this country. However, I'm not the biggest fan of Obama, and it's true he does have less experience than McCain in Washington, but I think he's better than McPalin. Personally I think the only solid foundation of change to be broughten to this country would be by the hand of Ron Paul, but of course, he's too much for the repubs right now. I think if Obama brings America back on the right track during his presidency term, than I believe Ron Paul should step in and lead this country to prosperity.

    September 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Silence Dogood

    McCain can take over the term "Change" because Obama has failed to even tell us what the Change is. Now he falls back on the whining and blame. Liberals should be ashamed of throwing away what should be an easy election.

    go Green Party.

    September 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Margo

    The rich get richer. . . . . . . .

    September 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. McCrazy

    did mccain use the same speech on his stop on friday that he used for his acceptance speech thursday?

    September 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Kelly

    McCain has spent 26 years in Washington!!!

    And only NOW is he interested in "change" and "reform"????

    What a sham. Where was McCain championing windmills and solar power for the last 3 decades???? Oh I forgot, he was vetoing.

    September 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. LeaS

    As a woman and a college graduate, I work 7 days a week because I still have a balance of $40 thousand on my student loan. I can't find a job that pays good enough to pay my bills. And if VOTERS vote because of GOOD LOOKS-I will probably paying my student loan until I retire and will never have a chance to own my own home.

    Sarah Palin so far hasn't discuss IMPORTANT ISSUES that affects average American lives. Instead, she mocks OBAMA FOR HIS WORK AS A "COMMUNITY ORGANIZER". The economy is in great dispair with unemployment at 6.1%, the devaluation of American dollar abroad NO WONDER we lost the respect we deserve around the world. WE AVERAGE AMERICANS WORK HARD BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE HAVE A PRETTY BLEAK FUTURE IF THIS TREND CONTINUES.

    VOTERS, PLEASE STUDY THE ISSUES THAT AFFECTS OUR DAILY LIVES.

    CNN PLEASE POST THIS!

    September 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Fighting for Obama Since he is too political correct!

    Gibson better ask the tough questions to Palin or I will Boycott his news program.

    September 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Joe Idaho

    Maybe its just me but doesn't or isn't this beginning to seem like an episode out of signfield? How about this, istn't Palin elaines daughter that she had by Kramer (we know he's a republican) and Mccain's is George Costanza ahahahahahahahahahahaha– Tell a lie long enough and people will believe it as truth.....

    September 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Didine - Maryland

    Sorry McCain-Palin, Nobody will believe that you are the candidate for change. The only one who represent Hope and Change is President Barack Obama. MacCain you are a joke and you will loose in Novemver.

    Yes We Can!

    September 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Gayle

    just tell us what to think. . . we'll believe anything!

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Floridian

    Just keep asking the importnant questions like:

    UNDER WHO'S PLAN WILL I PAY LESS INCOME TAX? Obama's or McCains?

    (I earn less than 80K)

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Talking change is like trying to solve algebra by chewing gum. We need new blood, not Methuselah and more right wing extremist.

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Elliot. NY September 8th, 2008 3:46 pm ET

    Dems.—here's your problem:

    You are trailing in the polls
    -----------------

    And last week McCain was trailing in the polls. I'M not trailing anywhere.

    As for the rest of your post, I tried to type it, but my brain nearly exploded.

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. J UAN CARLOS

    m o s t----i m p r e s s i v e----a s s a u l t---t o----t h e-–

    c l o u d s---t h a t --–e n v e l o p e d---d is c u s s i o n----

    g o v e r n o r---p a l i n---–s t e a l i n g--–v o t e r s ---–

    h e a r t s---o b a m a---s t e a l i n g--–w a l l e t s

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Carol in Va.

    The measure of any Exec is who they have brought along to replace them when they leave or are promoted. Who is in line to replace Palin at the helm in Alaska on the off chance McBush is elected?

    It seems to me the media black-out of Palin by McBush is a pretty good indicator of how he will communicate with the press when, on the off chance he is elected, he is Prez.

    If the picking of Palin was to appeal to women who were Hillary believers somebody read the tea leaves wrong. That poor little soul cannot hold a candle to Hillary Clinton.

    Palin is already looking tired with all the preliminary trotting around on the campaign trail. She and McBush are starting to look alike, you know, like old married people!

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. mollygonz

    Please...how stupid does McCain think we are???? Obama has had change as part of his campaign from the beginning and now he's trying to steal it yet everything Palin and him stand for is more of the same. They actually think that we are going to believe this garbage?? Tragically, some people will because they don't do the research it takes to make an informed decision. They will just vote on personality or gender. How pathetic that this woman doesn't believe that humans haven't had an impact on climate change. We are so far behind the rest of the world as it is on this issue and it will just get so much worse if they are elected. NOTHING will get done then more of our children's future will be hijacked! I am so sick and tired of falling behind on climate change, education, etc. etc. How could people not be tired??

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Kelby from Houston, TX

    How could anyone vote for another republican after all of the tragedies that we have experienced with these guys in charge? HAVEN'T WE SUFFERED ENOUGH?

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. WISE UP

    Tell me what I should think. . . . . .

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. Jeffrey

    Note to the Republicans: If you are going to claim Palin has more executive experience than Obama, that also means Palin has more executive experience than McCain. You cannot have it both ways!

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Ken in Dallas

    If she PUT it on ebay and it didn't sell, what was the point of mentioning it?

    September 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. PUMA PALIN

    McCain/Palin lead in polls for the first time...

    Obama lost a 7 point lead in a week...

    Keep talking Barry... and attacking women and children... CHANGE... yea right...

    Lovin it.... just laughing myself silly...

    Thanks DNC... pick a joke... this is what you get... and you know Hillary is LOVING IT

    September 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. no fear

    how different can McCain really be if he voted with Bush over 90% of the time, and Cheny and Bush have recently voiced their approval for McCAin's vp pick?

    so far, all I've really seen the McCain campaign do is to try to appeal to people's sense of patriotism, their fears and their sympathy. overall, they seem to be stoking a lot of emotion but they aren't providing anything substantial.

    someone once said "It is very fortunate for those in power that people do not think." and it occurs to me that McCain/Palin are hoping for precisely that.

    September 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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