Football Fans Choose Obama Over McCain

Barack Obama tops his rival as football-watching buddy in a new poll

People would rather watch a football game with Barack Obama than with John McCain -- but by barely the length of a football.

Obama scored his win over McCain by a narrow 50 percent to 47 percent, according to a new Associated Press-Yahoo poll, with undecided voters leaning slightly toward the Democratic Senator.

In general, results mirrored each presidential candidate's perceived strengths and weaknesses with voters. Women, minorities, younger and unmarried people were likelier to prefer catching a game with Obama while men, whites, older and married people would rather watch with McCain.

"I think he'd be fun to sit back with and hear his experiences, all his stories," said Kyle Ferguson, 28, a Republican from Santa Rosa, Calif., who picked McCain.

As for the infamous McCain temper that a few of his Senate colleagues have seen?

"I bet he'd probably get pretty angry and lit up if his team was losing," Ferguson said.  

Democrat James Smith, 29, of Asheville, N.C., picked Obama in part because he thought McCain's age, 72, meant the two had little in common.   

Of 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 Obama supporters were with making McCain their football buddy.

"He seems intensely focused in a way I'm not sure he does sit down and relax," said McCain supporter Lanita Linch, 41, of Harrison, Ark.

She preferred 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."

Obama roots for the Chicago Bears, McCain for the the Arizona Cardinals.   

There was worrisome news for Obama in his quest to win over Hillary supporters. Thirty-five percent of them would rather watch a game with McCain, well above the 23 percent figure for all Democrats. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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