September 8th, 2008
03:08 PM ET
12 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. Chi4Obama

    So I'm just waiting for the time when the GOP takes the "training" wheels off of Sarah (the intern) Palin.

    How much longer are they going to "hide" her from the media… . Is she even allowed to do an interview by herself yet??

    September 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Jeronimo!

    The only thing these two are "changing" is diapers. Johns' and Trigs!


    September 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. NickNas

    PALIN________ HAS ______NO ___RECORD____YET___TROLL______SHE_____WILL___SOON___A ___CRIMINAL____RECORD____LOL______BYE

    September 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    I'm sorry, but the GOP is out of touch, or must think all of us are mindless sheep. I keep hearing the charge that Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate. I'm not contesting that fact because that is not my point.

    My point is that if the GOP wishes to promote itself as the "agent of change", which means a departure from what Bush supports and wants to do, then why shed so much light on the fact that your opponent has opposed what Bush stands for more than you have? I could say the same about the Democrats, the GOP keeps handing you a talking point and you fumble the ball.

    September 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. scared

    Why does Sarah Mcpain point her fingers at us when she speaks??? It is so annoying. I can see right through her, I see an ugly BEAST, just like LIEBERMAN and GUILIANI and CHENEY ..... such a GANG. We are doomed. Help us GOD!!!!!


    September 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Dem for Unity

    Remember "my friends" the so called convervative is in office now. Dick Chaney. The most influential VP ever that may pull the strings to Bush. Now Palin is the so called conservative and is a BARACUDA lol kind of funny but scary. Do we really want another Bush term. Lets think about that.

    September 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Derrick - Texas

    Yes, when your message isn't working, simply co-opt the message of your opponent. Typical Rove strategy.

    Face it people, McCain is just more of the same, with even less charisma-

    Sarah Palin in just Bush in a skirt, with even less book learnin'.

    CNN: Shame on you for not vetting this farce of a running mate.

    September 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. charles nickerson

    What a big joke. Talk about calling the kettle black. Obamas whole campaign has been one big lie. Someone at CNN should have the gonads to tell the folks out their that Congress rpt Congress is where earmarks come from. Wake up folks.

    September 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. realistic

    This morning it was pretty quite from the Obama followers what with the new poll numbers and all. You and your horrible comments and opinions are what have turned many away from Obama. You should have been nicer it would have helped your candidate.

    You said Mr. Obama could win this race without Hilary. I don't think so. Another loss for the Democrats is in the making.

    September 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. bridgette

    The only thing they want to change is which Republican will sit in that office. I can't believe that all it takes to be the VP now is to believe in abortion and make speech saying absolutely nothing.

    September 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Lisa

    How soon we forget....dirty politics works, we the American people are easily swayed by false advertising and "stretched" truths. , proving once anain that we fall for anything!
    OBAMA in 08

    September 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Ric from NM

    Imagine that you have a simple life. You have no reason to "think" beyond it.
    – Would you like to pay less taxes? (yes)
    – Is the economy affecting you? (Well... as the frog said: "The water may be a little bit warmer, but that is fine, I won't jump out of the cooking pot".)
    – What about Iraq/security? (There has been no attack since 9/11. Iraq and the War on Terror work fine.)
    – Alternative sources (green) of energy? (What? It is gallon of gas what is expensive! Just need more US produced oil.)
    – Health care, global warming, erosion of Constitution/freedoms, US standing in the world, etc? (Too complicated for a simple life.)
    So then, who would you vote for? Perhaps for "more of the same"?
    (The hardest thing is to convince someone that his/her life is not as simple! Who doesn't want a simple life?)

    September 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Grampa Simpson

    Can't win using your own campaign slogan? Hey why not steal your opponent's? People seem to like that whole CHANGE idea – where did he come up with that?

    September 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    George W. Bush endorses Palin so what else does America need to determine Palin undoubtedly is the "right" choice to continue Bush's 3rd term. There's nothing wrong with the economy, "it's on the right path" and McCain/Palin will keep it moving in the future on the same path. So stop whinning.

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Marc

    Well, looks like Obama should've picked Hillary. Nice "judgement" Barack. You just handed the presidency over to the Republicans. Well, you were never ready to lead anyway....

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. James

    Perhaps the Republicans should have placed cowboy Annie on the top of the ticket since McCain obviously isn't appealing to his base. If the stupids get suckered again and we endure another four years of republicanism, I'm seceding from the union and taking SC with least until the next election.

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Let's talk "Change" for a minute. When does McCain "change" and explain how he qualified for flight school given his abysmal record at Annapolis?

    When does Cindy McCain "change" and release her tax statements?

    Then VP-candidate Palin can explain how she "changed" her tune on the Bridge To Nowhere when it became obvious it wasn't going to fly?!


    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Chi4Obama

    So it's still 2 weeks and counting.....And Sarah Palin still has yet to do a real interview with the media.

    I guess that's what happens when you don't have the "Experience" to handle the media spotlight.

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Don

    If only McCain could have gotten rid of the lobbyist from his campaign, he

    would have had a chance, sadly no so. McCain= more of the same 😦

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. E

    Republicans repeating lies until people think they are true? is that new? That was Bush's entire presidency! How about people actually THINK before they vote?!!? that would be a nice change. is out there, exposing lies on both sides, everyone should read it!

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Val from MA

    Obama has run his entire campain on lies and deceit from the very beginning of his campaign and you never complained.

    "Bridge to Nowhere" is not a lie – Palin did stop it (didn't she?) when as governor she learned more valuable information and facts about it and became a critic of the bridge.

    Just admit it, Democrats, YOU ARE SCARED, that you may just lose this very election. But you know what, Obama will be the only cause of your defeat. He should have swaollowed his pride and pick Hilary as his running mate. The whole thing would have been over by now if Hilary was on your his ticket.

    McCain/Palin it is!

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Nik

    Amen, Roger!

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. It's ironical, c'est non?

    Interesting. Obama supporters decrying his lack of coverage. Priceless.

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Jon

    McCain's got a great strategy: when you don't have a message of your own, try to steal the opponent's and claim he doesn't know what he's talking about.

    September 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Hotdog


    The Repubs will say anything to get votes.

    McSame voted 90% of the time with Bush, that means he's in agreement with Bush.




    September 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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