Stephanopoulos Notes McCain's Dramatic Gain on Economic Issues

     Could this be a sign Americans are rejecting redistributive socialism?

     Although it hasn’t received much attention in the media, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain has gained on Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama in at least one opinion poll on the economy. ABC chief Washington correspondent George reported the results of an ABC News/Washington Post poll showing these gains on “World News with Charles Gibson” Oct. 28.

     “What we’re seeing in our own poll is, and this could be a leading indicator, a real cut in the Obama advantage on the economy,” Stephanopoulos said. “Last week we asked, “Who do you trust to handle the economy?’ Obama had an 18-point advantage. Today that’s only a nine-point lead. And it’s an especially pronounced advantage among that small group of voters who say they can still change their minds – about 10 percent of voters. Last week Obama led in that group of voters by 29 percent on the economy. Now McCain has a seven-point edge. That could be a leading indicator of some tightening.”

     Claims that Obama promotes policies similar to “socialism” came to the forefront with his now-famous call to “spread the wealth around” in comments to “Joe the Plumber.” The socialism label gained more public attention on Oct. 26, after a recently discovered 2001 Chicago public radio interview surfaced. In the interview, Obama expressed disappointment that the civil rights movement didn’t do more to establish “redistribution of wealth.”

     Stephanopoulos didn’t credit McCain’s poll gains to Obama’s socialism controversy, but he did say tax policy might have helped him make headway. Stephanopoulos, who served as an adviser for former Democratic President Bill Clinton, emphasized that when Democrats win the battle on taxes, they win the election.

     “[I]nterestingly Charlie, Obama still maintains a 10-point lead on the issue of taxes. The last Democratic candidate for president who had that kind of lead on taxes was Bill Clinton in 1992. When Democrats win on taxes they tend to win elections.”

     The Obama campaign has made a strong effort to stress he would give 95 percent of Americans a tax cut. But the tax claim is not true, as Politifact pointed out in the Oct. 21 Houston Chronicle.

     Obama’s “tax cuts” do not provide a tax cut for “95 percent of Americans” “It’s actually about 81 percent of all tax filers,” the article by Angie Drobnic Holan said. And second, under the Obama plan, 63 million Americans, or 44 percent of all tax filers, “would have no income tax liability and most of those would get a check from the IRS each year,” according to the Oct. 13 Wall Street Journal.