One interesting pair of numbers from their breakdown:
Nearly two-thirds of voters (64%) said McCain attacked Obama unfairly during the campaign, compared with 49% who said Obama attacked McCain unfairly.
That’s a result that deserves some careful thought. To me, it’s astounding how unsuccessful the McCain campaign was at bringing anything negative about Obama to light — and that number tells the story. All of McCain’s attacks backfired in the media; the result was that they hurt his campaign. Obama was the heir apparent to what the media referred to as Reagan’s teflon coating during his first term — at least during the campaign. Bill Ayers? “Don’t matter. Everyone’s a bomb-thrower now.” Antonin Rezko? “Who’s he? Some guy in jail in Illinois with Scalia’s first name.” Bankrupt the coal industry? “You’re just whining. Cough.” Wealth redistribution == Socialist? “The government is there to help me. Why else do I not pay my taxes?” National Security Civilian Teenage Hunger Force? “I like marching, as long as the band is good.” And I guess the television ads were similarly ineffective.
I attribute part of this to the careful study of Reagan’s campaign and persona by the Obama team. Even though the report says that people voted for Obama on the issues, for Obama dirt from the past was irrelevant, he had a teflon coating, and the public was fixated almost to the the point of obsession on the economy.
On another level, it confirms my gut-level feeling about Obama’s campaign from several months ago: “It’s very difficult to campaign against God.” McCain knew it, too.