I've blogged recently about how people versus how political professionals respond to negative advertising and attacks. A NYTimes poll out today suggests a backlash against the McCain campaign. We see this sometimes in negative political ads, but more often when the ads come from within-party competition, not from outside the part.
In part the results reflect the overall lead by Obama, so it's not surprising that more people would see the McCain approach in a negative light. Six of ten don't like the negative attacks, but only 53 percent say they'll vote for Obama. That's enough of a difference to suggest at least some undecided voters are unhappy with the McCain camp's recent approach.
All that aside, McCain is getting pushed by some Republicans to take it to Obama tonight in the debate, to bring up Ayers and Wright and so on. It's tough. The economy is in the tank right now, otherwise this might work, but people are so worried about jobs and retirement that the usual tactics don't seem to work this campaign. Bad timing, I guess. We'll probably see a conflicted McCain tonight, drawn to attack which is against his nature, but forced by reality to do something to shake up his chances as polls trend away from him.