6:1 -- McCain Running a Negative Campaign

A new poll finds that voters by a huge margin -- six to one -- are fingering McCain for running a negative campaign.

The Obama campaign has taken heat for not fighting back more vehemently against the Schmidt/McCain assault this summer. But I'm increasingly convinced that there's a method to taking those punches.

McCain has raised Obama's negatives somewhat (although the mid-thirties is hardly worrisome.) But the McNasty campaign has hurt the "Original Maverick" as well. And now, with folks literally begging Obama to get up and fight, he's able to run stinging attack ads like this one while looking like he's just defending himself. Throwing some mud, yes, but not looking like he abandoned his high-minded approach for the gutter. Playing some old-school politics while still being able to hit McCain for playing the same old politics.

It's, in fact, very reminiscent of the tack he took with Hillary Clinton last summer...