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. PoliticoPundit

    There will be no CHANGE..
    OBAMA talked about turning the page in the primary and then first think he did is chose is the OLD Dem .. So instead of going to next page he started from page -1 of same book.

    Atleast McCain is thinking future by selecting a young VP. So please, If someone is talking about change of future is McCain not Obama.

    And I would ask debetors not to ask tough questions to Obama because he can't answer tough questions.

    Also, Since Obama can't answer tough questions, that PROVES he is NOT READY. he will attack Pakistan with which army? same army from Iraq wiill go to Pakistan ( if that happens) so how is he promising to bring troops home ( change?? )

    September 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    OBAMA does well from behind. McCain is trying to steal OBAMA change message. The only change McCAIN not able and Palin =Pain will delive is more Cain=Pain!

    OBAMA-BIDEN, the realy CHANGE n 08!

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

    Obama votes party line 98% of the time.

    How is this change??

    September 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. priya - Texas

    Why couldn't McCain pick governor of any other state for VP? You know...governor of Texas, Louisiana or one of the many other well known EXPERIENCED names. NO, he had to pick a woman, an unknown person from a faraway land just because he wanted female votes.
    Now he is making a brouhaha over nothing. A case of empty vessel making the most noise.
    Palin is a pacifier for Hillary supporters, and another trophy to stand behind McCain.

    September 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. sb

    As a Canadian, it may be none of my business to make a statement on your election, however... It is inconcievable to Canadians how Bush was elected by the American people twice and while we in Canada will suffer eventually due to his economic policies, or lack thereof, many in my country believe the wrong would soon be righted by electing a Democrat. If McCain is elected, you've all gotten exactly what you deserve. The World now hates the U.S..I don't think its a bold statement .I think you might ask yourselves why?

    September 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Charles

    Hey, the past 8 years weren't that bad. I'm financially secure and I have financially made our four children secure. Vote for McCain and I can have my grandchildren financially secure. Enough $ is never enough for me. I like McCain!

    September 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Hmm, end the "hyper partisanship in Washington," eh? Sounds like Palin-McCain are claiming to be "uniters, not dividers." Where have I heard that nonsense before?

    If McCain and Palin want to change things in Washington, why are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney so excited about them both? McCain and Palin will do nothing to change Washington because they are what's wrong with Washington.

    The Republican mindset, fully adopted by John McSame, has driven this country to the brink of disaster. Right wing nut job panderers like Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney are the absolute Worst thing for this country.

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

    Change ? Read Anne Kilkenny's letter from Alaska. "During her mayoral administration most of the actual work was turned over to an administrator". "During her 6 years as Mayor she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. She was not tolerant of divergent opinions and tried to fire the City Librarian because she refused to consider removing from the library books that Palin wanted removed..". And so on, and so on.
    To think that Ms. Palin could become VP and then President is the MOST HORRENDOUS thing that could happen to this country. Haven't we seen enough with Bush ? Please people, use your brain !

    September 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Crik


    September 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Griff

    For Real Change! You would need to throw Religion. Out of Politics...

    September 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Sen. Barack Obama

    I'm just grateful no one ever mentions the fact that I've voted 96% of the time with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. 🙂

    September 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Another Ex-Republican for Obama

    How stupid do you have to be as a voter, to believe that my party, the one in charge of the government for the last 8 years and completely screwed this country up, is the right party to "change" Washington?

    The sad part is 45% of you will believe it. Wake up people, vote these Rovian morons out of my party for god's sake. Let us moderates take it back.

    September 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. OneNotToBeMisLed

    If the media would keep calling Palin/McCain ticket out on their lies, Palin would have to come out of smarter people!

    September 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |

    This may be the wrong place to say this but CNN please post to get this straight once and for all.

    Palin DID NOT say she "SOLD" that jet on Ebay.
    Rewind the tape...she said, and I quote:
    "I PUT it on Ebay. She PUT it on Ebay

    September 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. REPUBLICANS, had their chance!!

    Don't believe the HYPE. They had EIGHT YEARS of total control!!!

    Why put another republican BACK in the White House?? I don't get it. They are going to fix the mess they made??!?

    Fix the mess, vote Dem.

    September 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Anne

    I live in a state where pitbulls are!

    September 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Alice

    Yeah, the big question is how to get change - by re-electing the party that brought us the past 8 years, or by throwing the bums out.

    Tough question.


    September 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Ryan in Delaware

    Barry seems do the rest of the left wing nuts. They should be.......they're behind in the polls....and the debates haven't even started. Wait til McCain destroys Obama in the debates!!

    Woo-Hoo!!! McCain/Palin – the experience and change we need in a ticket!!!

    September 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Clara

    As a 65 year old American, I am appalled that half the people in this country would actually vote for the war-mongering/no ideas John McCain and the ignorant (yes, ignorant), religious kook Sarah Palin. It is definitely a sad commentary on our political sense and makes me glad I have no grandchildren to bear the brunt of such stupidity. Are you all that scared of a smart black man? I'm sorry for you.

    September 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    It's about time we sent someone to Washington who could bury the hatchet some place besides their opponents head.


    September 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Ken in Dallas

    Incidentally, where's McCain's flag pin? He raised a stink about Obama appearing in public without one, but he doesn't need on for himself, presumably because he was a POW.

    September 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Schneider (I) - CA

    I wish that the Media would do a side by side comparision between the actual/proposals of the Bush/Cheney with both MCCain/Palin and Obama/Biden on the following issues:

    Health Care
    Iraq War
    Afghan War
    Foreign Policy
    Housing Crisis
    Supreme Court justices

    I bet you will find that 90-95% of the time McCain/Palin will align with Bush/Cheney which equals no change and no improvement.

    September 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. gee

    Mr McCain, and his SO call V.p. Our GoD is in control of the election.
    long live Obama our next president. McCain and his V.P, they are ad a lie.

    September 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. MD

    Change is a good word for McCain and Palin. It seems they change their stands on everything to make it work for them. Look at their records, votes, whatever. John McCain will DO or SAY anything to get elected and Sarah Palin is just like him. I wonder about a Mother who chooses to campaign instead of spending time with her son before he is deployed. A quick good bye and she can get back to the most important thing in her life... campaigning to be VP.

    September 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. The Obama team is in PANIC mode.

    Has everyone noticed how the Obama Campaign doesn't have anything positive to discuss anymore. What happened to the new "changed" way of running a campaign. The Obama team is doing exactly what they renounced as "old style" politics. They 1st blamed Hillary and then the Republicans for running campaigns based on fear and the throw the kitchen sink mentality. Now that Obama is no longer ahead in the polls, he turned out to be no better than Hillary or McCain.

    September 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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