Americans prefer watching football with Obama

(NOTE FROM JOHN: This may sound fun and silly, but it’s actually quite serious stuff. The conventional wisdom is, and I agree with it, that Americans vote for who they like in their gut, who they’d like to watch a game with, have a beer, share dinner. And while the numbers for Obama and McCain are close, though Obama is ahead, Obama intrigues people on the right whereas McCain horrifies people on the left. That’s interesting, in terms of how it might play with independents. Cuz let’s face it, would you rather hang out having a beer with someone around your age, or with your grandpa?)

And if Obama can help my Buckeyes learn how to quit choking in big games (besides against Michigan) all the better. What is especially interesting about this new poll is that even normal Republican voters understand that McCain can’t control his temper. Democrats have struggled with the “likeability” factor in the last few campaigns but this year Obama has won over Americans.

People would rather watch a football game with Barack Obama than with John McCain….

[R]eflecting a sense some voters have of McCain based on the complaints of a few Senate colleagues, he added warily, “I bet he’d probably get pretty angry and lit up if his team was losing.”

Democrat James Smith, 29, of Asheville, N.C., picked Obama because he believes he and the Democratic senator from Illinois have more in common.

“With McCain, I have such an age difference,” said Smith of the Arizona senator, who is 72. But with Obama, 47, he said, “If things went well with the conversation, the football game would be forgotten. There’d be a lot of back and forth.”

Such views are significant because in many elections, candidates considered more likable have an advantage.

McCain backers were a bit more intrigued by watching with Obama than the Democrat’s supporters were with making McCain their football buddy. While fewer than one in 10 Obama backers wanted to watch with McCain, nearly one in five McCain supporters wanted to kick back with Obama.

“He seems intensely focused in a way I’m not sure he does sit down and relax,” McCain supporter Lanita Linch, 41, of Harrison, Ark., said of the Republican. She said she’d rather watch with Obama because he seemed like “someone you could be comfortable and at ease with,” but cautioned, “If he’s not a Cowboys fan, we’d have a problem.”

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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