With slightly more than 100 days until the election, the survey provides a glimpse of the challenges facing both presidential candidates.
For McCain, it comes amid a toxic political climate for Republicans. Just three in 10 respondents approve of President Bush’s job. Only one in seven McCain voters say they’re excited to vote for him. And the percentage of Americans who believe the country is on the right track is at its lowest mark ever in the poll.
For Obama, it’s that a majority think he’s a risky choice for the presidency; that less than half say the Illinois Democrat shares their background and values; and that there are concerns he’s too inexperienced.
“When it comes to mood, the Republicans face very long odds,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. “And when it comes to perceptions of Barack Obama, I think the Democrats and Barack Obama have a job to do.”