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Omero: The Palin Effect, more base-rallying & fewer gender differences

As we continue to discuss the Palin Effect, more data have emerged.  An ABC News poll released today shows that partisanship, as opposed to gender, is a far greater predictor than of attitudes toward Governor Palin.


Across nearly every dimension, Republicans have rallied behind McCain's VP pick, with Democrats and independents more ambivalent.  A full 80% of Republicans say the pick makes them more confident in McCain, compared to 59% of Democrats feeling less confident (independents are more divided, 44% more confident, 37% less confident).


And charges that the press have treated Palin unfairly resonate with Republicans more than they resonate with women.  More than half (57%) of Republicans say she has been treated unfairly, with less than half as many Democrats (27%) agreeing.  The difference between men (55% treated fairly) and women (46%) is smaller, with women more likely to be undecided than men.


When we ask the ultimate question--how does each candidate's VP pick affect one's vote--we see Palin moving the Republican base, but not others.  Two-thirds (67%) say Obama's selection of Senator Joe Biden has no difference on their vote, while fewer (55%) say the same about Palin.  But Palin elicits more saying they are "less likely" to vote for McCain (19%) than say the Biden pick makes them less likely to vote for Obama (10%). 


Further, as the report notes, Palin runs up the score among Republicans and evangelicals (+37, +32 more minus less likely to vote for McCain, respectively).  But moderates say Obama's pick of Biden makes them more to vote for Obama (+12 more minus less), with Palin having neither a positive or negative net affect for McCain.


These findings build upon earlier results I wrote about this week.  It seems increasingly unlikely that former Hillary Clinton supporters will move to McCain because of Sarah Palin.  But during the heat of the Republican convention, the Republican base is indeed energized. 



Its great to have some numbers on this.

What I found difficult to see in your analysis is the overall affect each VP pick has on the enthusiasm level of voters. Maybe just because I'm tired. But does Biden or Palin have a greater impact on enthusiasm? Where do enthusiasm levels stand now vs. two weeks ago?

Also, this... "And charges that the press have treated Palin unfairly resonate with Republicans more than they resonate with women. More than half (57%) of Republicans say she has been treated unfairly, with less than half as many Democrats (27%) agreeing. The difference between men (55% treated fairly) and women (46%) is smaller, with women more likely to be undecided than men" ... isn't very helpful. Within each group of D's and R's, what is the gender breakdown? Harry Reid with his "shrill" comment seems hell bent on alienating female Democrats (could somebody put an electric collar on that man, and give someone with some sense the controls?)

I wonder if the canard that women only vote for women because they are women will ever be laid to rest, or at least sent quacking into the distance. Sigh.



Correction - I meant to say, the impact level of voters within each party. Who has the enthusiasm edge now, post-Palin, Ds or Rs?



Weren'tt surveys showing that McCain was already solidifying his base before the selection of Palin? I kept seeing polls showing that he was getting support in the high 80th percentiles amongst Republicans. So how much more of this could he tap?

The real question is whether Palin will be able to mobilize that sub-population to come out and vote in support of the ticket.
I'm not sure the new slogan that the McCain-Palin ticket represents "change" will resonate. After all, weren't most of those delegatesat the RNC cheering for Bush-Cheney in 2000 and 2004? Suddenly they are for "change"?



The incumbent running as an insurgent? The Palin story has another crack. The Plane she sold on Ebay was bought by a campaign supporter. The McCain campaign is now hedging about when they will bring her before the national press. I wonder if we will actually have a vp debate. The no-nothing crowd who supports her is inpervious to hard facts so I really don't think much of this matters except to us elitists and the media.



@ voteforamerica

For your sake and for the sake of your candidate, go back to your x-box and stop spamming this website.

Only a complete nitwit would sneer about Governor Palin reading a speech written for her by someone else, when the Democratic VP candidate, Biden, had a PLAGIARISM scandal.

What you are doing is known as walking into a punch.

Seriously. Teh stupid is hurting your candidate.



Read this brilliant piece on the supposedly "feminist" S. Palin!





Without stooping down to name calling, and without supporting spamming of cut-n-pasted partisan propaganda, Palin has an issue with this, and the issue will grow over the following weeks.

During the RNC convention, the news networks were overly nice in their coverage. IMO, that was irresponsible of them, but they don't want to impact their ratings by saying negative things about a candidate who's supporters are the majority of viewers, so they all do it.

We have seen Palin on a national stage 4 times now, and never once has she not read from a script that someone else wrote. In addition to that, much of what she has said was disingenuous at best. Search the AP for the bit of fact checking that they did.

Now she is on her way back to Alaska and won't be heard from again until another 7 days has past. No interviews, no nothing.

Some might rush to judgment and say that what McCain did was brilliant based on the results so far, but I'm of a different mindset. The liability of Palin lies outside of prepared remarks; it lies in how she comes off in interviews from the perspective of the judgement and experience necessary for the job she is running for, it lies in how she handles herself in the debate, it lies in how her record and actions in Alaska stand up to intense scrutiny.

From today on, there will be ever increasing criticism from the press over gaining access to Palin. This is already widespread, but they will become even more critical as time passes if they don't get what they want. As it was said on Hardball this evening, it's not improper to expect of a candidate that is running for the second highest elected office in the country to answer questions and let the public fully know who she is.

Now up to this point I do believe that given the circumstances, it couldn't have gone any better for McCain-Palin, but I do not believe that history will view this as anything but a mistake regardless of the fact that McCain was already seen as having a very tough hill to climb.



From my partisan perspective, Palin's nomination has energized the Democratic base tremendously. Few would argue that Obama's supporters weren't far more enthusiastic than McCain's before Palin was named, and my sense is that her boost to the R's still leaves them far behind, enthusiasm-wise (sorry).

Consider how enthused Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan are now.

Biden may have negatively affected the enthusiasm of some of the more idealistic Obama faithful, but the Palin pick really is so sleazy and offensive (as Murphy correctly points out) that any doubts that Biden might have raised have been more than erased at this point.

Palin deserves every bit of scrutiny that can be brought to bear on her, at this late date. Complaining about the media was part of the R's plan all along, I suspect. The Palin gambit thrusts the media into the perceived role of partisan watchdog (though the media would do the same for an unknown Dem), and confers whining rights on the R's, they claim.
Rovians are unamerican in the extreme, but they're not stupid. McCain's Faustian bargain with his strategists has cost him his maverick soul--and, I hope, the election.


@ brambster

I really don't understand why I am supposed to be *shocked* that a candidate uses speechwriters. Do you not recall the profiles written of Jon Favreau, the fellow who wrote Obama's Iowa victory speech? I mean, what do you think is actually going on in campaigns? Maybe that line flies with people who don't think much about the mechanics of campaigning, but every professional knows that speeches are based on extensive message testing, targeting, and the input of a team of staff.

As for access, the Republicans like playing hardball with the press. From the flagrant disregard for answering questions shown by Reagan to the strong-arm tactics of the current White House, they know that the more access you give the press, the less the press respects you. President Clinton made the mistake of giving the press too much access and they ran amok like improperly socialized children. President Bush the Lesser bullied and punished them and the press was afraid to criticize him for years. Strategically, I think the GOP knows what it is doing when it comes to the political media.

The press has treated Gov. Palin like a chew toy. A campaign shouldn't reward that behavior with access. They should discourage it by freezing the press out. IMHO, of course.

My first reaction to McCain's announcement that he picked Palin was that it was a brilliant move. (http://thelurkingcanary.blogspot.com/2008/08/fcking-wow.html, if you are interested). From what I'm seeing of the numbers over at SurveyUSA and Rasmussen, it looks like Palin is doing more for McCain than Biden does for Obama. Of course we'll have more solid indicators by Monday.



I really don't understand why I am supposed to be *shocked* that a candidate uses speechwriters.

The problem is two fold. First, Obama, Biden, and McCain have all proven themselves capable of crafting their own words (McCain in fact does better at this than reading someone else's), whereas the teleprompter is all we've got from Palin thus far. Part of the absurdity of the Biden "plagiarism" angle is that nobody doubts Joe Biden's capacity to go off message in unpredictable ways at great length on any topic when he wants to.

Still, this isn't so much of a problem--after the debate with Biden, this will be somewhat moot. In fact, Palin is probably doing this on purpose as part of a expectations game.

The second half of the problem is more intractable. Obama, Biden, and McCain each have teams of speechwriters they've grown comfortable with--people who they each think write like they want to sound. Palin, on the other hand, relies on Bush/McCain speechwriters. She relies on McCain's allies like Lieberman to train for the debate with Biden. She's learning "at the foot of the master", as the McCain campaign put it.

From what we've seen so far, she'd make a good stand up comedian. When she goes up against Biden, I guess we'll see her improv act. She can really deliver a put-down.

But we'll never really know what she's actually thinking, if she's actually thinking, until John McCain is out of the picture--either losing this election, or something dreadful coming to pass afterwards.



I have to say that Sarah Palin is an irrelevancy to feminine causes and probably counter productive.

She happens to be a woman.

Her nomination is an embarressment. She can't be interviewed, she can't hold a press conference. The above is my personal opinion.

Margie's research has been good and reflected in the tracker polls. The Repub Convention bounce/bump/dip/crash will be fully expressed by Tuesday. It peaked yesterday (Friday) as expressed by the trackers. I think when historians look at this pick the "DO NO HARM" imperative will be underlined.



As a lifelong Republican, I can not support McCain. I am thoroughly convinced that McCain’s judgment to totally impaired with the desire to win this election and to hell with the people of this nation. His picking Sarah Palen as his VP did it. The entire tone of the Republican convention was hateful, angry, condescending and a prelude to more war!

McCain is known for not seeking or listening to advice, it’s his way or no way and mostly he is known for his hair trigger temper. After listening to Palen’s speech and her curt tone, McCain definitely has found a true advocate he calls his “soul-mate.” (If I was Cindy McCain, I’d be a little perturbed with him using that phrase.)

The entire Republican convention was based on more war and McCain being a “war hero.” Nothing mentioned about improving the lives of Americans, nothing mentioned about brings in more jobs or helping the working poor, homeless, or the 6% of American families that are unemployed. Obama was right on about the Bush/McCain attitude of pull yourself up by your boot straps and if you don’t have boots…You’re on your own.

McCain was an Air Force pilot not infantry; has no front line hand to hand combat experience and was captured for 5 years, how does that qualify McCain as Best in War? He has no first hand ground combat experience. Torture, yes… combat experience NO!

Did you hear anything about how he plans to get us out of Bush’s war? Maybe I missed it. All I heard was him threaten Russia and Iran, which is going to get us in even deeper if not start WWIII. Remember, he wants us to put his irrational hair-trigger temper (finger) on the button.

I don’t care how much money you have, the nation can not afford 4 more years.



Frankly, this is offensive:

Obama, Biden and McCain have proven themselves capable of crafting their own words (McCain in fact does better at this than reading someone else's), whereas the teleprompter is all we've got from Palin thus far. Part of the absurdity of the Biden "plagiarism" angle is that nobody doubts Joe Biden's capacity to go off message in unpredictable ways at great length on any topic when he wants to.

Why on earth would you assume this woman is incapable of crafting her own words? And why do you say that's all we've seen from her?

She ran a hotly contested Governor's race. I'm sure there were debates. If anyone really thinks she might not be capable of using her own words, the easiest way to figure that out would be to look at her performance in Alaska. Which is what I am certain McCain's team did before they chose her. Its probably all up on the You-Tubes.

This is common sense. If you are really interested, look at her past performance. If you are trying to score a point based on cultural assumptions about who Governor Palin is, act like this is the first time she's ever spoken in public.

So again, I don't see how anyone can claim she may not be "capable" of using her own words, unless the underlying assumption is that she's some kind of airhead Barbie doll or stupid, under-educated hick. If she had gone to an Ivy, would you assume she was incapable of using her own words?

No one doubts that Biden *can* use his own words, the question is can he *stop* using his own words and stay on message. Biden is gaffe machine. His first comments when he accepted the nomination - that his wife's PhD was a "problem" - and his comment that the difference between himself and Governor Palin is that "she's good looking" are ominous signs.

But reminding people of Biden's plagiarism scandal isn't about claiming he can't talk on his own. Its about his ethics, his trustworthiness and his tendency to fly by the seat of his tongue. Which is why the Democrats would be wise to not walk into this punch by sneering about who is writing words for whom.



If anyone does know a Clinton supporter who is enthused about Palin, may I suggest this link for a little ice-cold water...


And perhaps Team Obama has forgotten this?


Article recaps BIden receiving an F in a class at Fordham Law because of plagiarism.

Ordinarily this would be irrelevant by now. But If Team Obama wants to talk about who uses other people's words, this is fair game. If I were them, I would not want to set the stage for this discussion to be reopened, unless they enjoy self-inflicted wounds.




You know, I replied quite civilly and took care to point out what was mostly obviously going happen.

You in turn took my words out of context and then bragged about how you called Palin's pick a brilliant move. I'm sure you would love for that game to end right now, before the tightly controlled environment of the RNC convention fades to a distant memory...but it absolutely does not work like that.

Here's the simple truth to how things work. If you are a major party candidate for VP, and you can't in one week even answer a single reporter's question, then that alone should disqualify you.

Not one honest person with a brain is being fooled by this charade. No one. This shows exactly how cynical and insulting to the American public this pick by McCain was. He chose someone for #2 that he can't even trust with a reporter let alone this country. Why then should this country trust her if McCain can't? Why should we trust McCain if he is going to pull stunts like this?

Now before you start bringing up how the press (the Fourth Estate) has no right to demand anything from Palin, bear in mind that every honest person knows that the reason is that Palin isn't prepared to speak to the press and that's the reason why access to her is so controlled, and not because the press is mean to her. To suggest anything else but this is disingenuous, but such hypocrisy has never stopped a Republican before. In fact, we're almost completely immune to hypocrisy in this country...but this really takes the cake.




With everything you say, you seem to give us all less and less reason to read your posts.


@ brambster

I'm not sure why you imply I did not respond in a civil manner.

You have your opinion that Palin isn't doing interviews because she's not prepared; my opinion is that McCain is playing hardball and punishing the press. Sometime soon, one of the cable networks will get the "exclusive first interview" with Palin. Anticipation will be piqued and expectations will be low, making it easy for her to succeed (just as Team McCain managed to do for her Convention speech). Palin will do fine and everyone will talk about how great she is. And the cable networks who didn't get the interview will start kissing McCain's ass because they don't want to be left out in the cold again.

It may interest you (or not) to know that I am a life-long Democrat, bred from a life-long Democrat. I've never voted for a Republican candidate in my life and I'm not going to do so in this election. I am, however, extremely cynical about the media, and I know bad strategy when I see it.




I know your views fully well. You are however in a very small minority of feminist life-long Democrats that think the way that you do.

Regarding Palin and interviews, I have no doubt that as a journalism major, former sportscaster, and governor, she can do a good interview. However she does not know McCain's talking points, and she knows next to nothing about foreign policy. That and the questions about her past, like firing librarians for refusing to ban books, firing a commissioner for not investigating her former brother in law, hiring a lobbyist for federal earmarks in the amount of $27 million (over $3,000 per person in her small town), and her false claims of being against the Bridge to Nowhere, are the types of questions they do not want her to be asked about.

What will happen if they don't put her out there is that these stories will start to define her before she can define herself. ABC has already done a pretty good job of starting to define Palin:


As far as the Obama-Biden campaign goes, almost nothing takes Obama off of his game. He's great at this. Obama knows that Palin isn't who he is running against. You never shoot down. Obama will let the press do what they might with Palin and his campaign will ignore her almost completely. So don't mistake what the press does with what a campaign does.



"Obama knows that Palin isn't who he is ruinning against." Are you sure about that?

“I know the governor of Alaska has been, you know, saying she is change. And that is great. She is a skillful politician. But when you been taking all these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you are the champion anti-earmark person. That is not change, come on. I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up. You can’t just make stuff up. We have a choice to make and the choice is clear.”

Which leaves McCain the opening for this body blow:

"Barack Obama has requested the equivalent of one million dollars in new pork barrel spending for every working day he’s been in the U.S Senate, while John McCain has never once asked for an earmark, and Governor Palin has vetoed hundreds of millions in government spending including killing the infamous “bridge to nowhere”. Just like so many other issues Barack Obama is all talk, has no record to back it up and isn’t ready to make change."




Yes, for the first time Obama made reference to her today. That's hardly making her the target of their campaign.

Regarding the spin redirected from McCain, it just isn't true. They make stuff up. They always make stuff up.


"Under Palin's leadership, Alaska this year asked for almost $300 per person in requests for pet projects from one of McCain's top adversaries: indicted Sen. Ted Stevens. That's more than any other state received, per person, from Congress for the current budget year. Other states got just $34 worth of local projects per person this year, on average, according to Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington-based watchdog group.The state government's earmark requests to Congress in her first year in office exceeded $550 million, more than $800 per resident. Palin actually reduced the state government's requests for special projects this year in the wake of President Bush's demand for a cutback in earmarks."

"Alaska also has become so accustomed to largess flowing from Congress through Stevens that most of Palin's earmark requests this year — such as studies of Alaskan fisheries, grants to combat drug trafficking, and rural airport upgrades — simply keep ongoing programs going. Among her requests was $150,000 to pay the travel bills of state and fisheries industry representatives on the boards that implement North Pacific fisheries agreements."

If you read the rest of the article, I would say that Obama is hitting back quite well...and without making stuff up. To some people, that counts.



The article you cite says that Palin has cut state earmark requests by over 60% in two years, and you say with a straight face that she's not a reformer?

According to this Seattle Times story, her opposition to earmarks drove a wedge between her and the Alaska delegation to Washington:


According to this story, she told lawmakers in January, "We cannot and must not rely so heavily on federal government earmarks.

This is a clear record of Palin reducing the State government's earmark requests dramatically in a short period of time.

My last point: Congress (of which Obama is a member) funds these earmarks. It's their duty to spend our money wisely.




You're absolutely correct. Obama's requests for earmarks is crazy considering the $8 per capita mark he hit last year.

Meanwhile, Saint Palin's lobbying of up to $1,000 per resident of Wasilla in a single year of _approved_ request, and then $800 per capita figure in her first year being reduced to just $300 per capital in _approved_ earmarks is a leap forward. It's just 10 times the national average per capita.

Of course Alaska needs this largess. They are so rich with oil and mineral wealth, which belongs to their residents and are selling for all time record prices that the state has no sales tax nor income tax. Clearly these people need my money to help support them.

This is all just ridiculous hypocrisy.




It sounds like Mayor Palin was a highly effective mayor who figured out the Washington game from "Wasilly."

Governor Palin, on the other hand, is trying to change the broken system. The earmarks she requested are defense related or continuing projects that were previously authorized. Alaska's resources are locked up by the Federal government and so the state is way, way, way underexploited. For example, oil production in Prudhoe Bay peaked ten years ago in 1998, and no new oil fields are coming online to take its place. Her vision that she is trying to implement is to give Alaska greater control over its resources in exchange for reducing its dependence on the Federal government.



She raised taxes on the oil companies during a time of both record prices and record profits. Big deal. Really.

The fact is that Alaska has been sucking the federal government dry for years. And the at least one oil services company had their governor, senator, representative and state legislators on the take. Palin might have run against the establishment, but Murkowski came in third in that primary. Palin was hardly responsible for that, in fact she sought out and featured Ted Stevens' support in her run.

We can of course have biased arguments about how much of a change agent she is, but what irks me is the fact that the McCain campaign has chosen to re-write what actually happened and they misrepresent her record. She was for the Bridge to Nowhere, and campaigned on being for it. She might have canceled the project after it became the focus of intense scrutiny, but Alaska still kept the $223 million earmark. Palin as the mayor of a town of just 6,000 hired a lobbyist and took yearly trips to Washington to get pork...and she got a TON of it, yet the campaign presents her as being against that largess. Pure hypocrisy.

I'll give it to the Republicans though, they do not overestimate the intelligence of the general public. Ultimately it is our own fault as citizens for rewarding this Banana Republic-style of politics.



Look... Palin has changed and improved as she moved from the Mayor of Wasilla to the governor of Alaska. She worked the system as a Mayor (Don't hate the player, hate the game.) As governor, she has some influence on the rules of the game, and has changed them for the better.

Yes, she supported the Bridge to Nowhere initially, but ultimately killed it. She changed her position-just like Obama has on public financing, FISA, and a host of other issues.



I do agree that the energy Palin creates is based on where one is on the political spectrum, which carries more weight than the gender of the candidate.

As an independent, I like Palin's track record, as do many other Hillary supporters I have spoken to.

I will take VP Palin's track record of accomplishment over VP Biden's any day of the week. Gender has nothing to do with it.

I wish the same were the same with Obama; unfortunately, with well over 90% of black voters voting for him, his constituency is based more on race than values. Very sad, and deeply offensive that he and his campaign continue to play the race card, instead of sticking to issues and his accomplishments.



These are sad comments.

FYI, 90% ob black voters voted for Kerry, Gore and Clinton. There's also nothing wrong with black people voting for a candidate who's party put itself out there to make civil rights real. There are many black voters out there that are old enough to have lived under segregation. The Republicans have resisted equality every step of the way, and they also challenge these people's voting rights regularly.





Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. He was kind of against the slavery thing.

Who threatened to send the Army into Little Rock? Ike, a Republican.

Look at the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Bottled up in the House by a Democrat. Filibustered in the Senate by a Democrat. Sen. Byrd spoke for 14 hours opposing it. 80% of Republican supported it in both houses. Less than 70% supported it in either house.

Colin Powell could have easily had the Republican nomination in 1996 or 2000. He just didn't want to be President. Same thing with Condi Rice-a lot of Republicans wanted her to run this year.



You are delusional. 90% of AA's vote Democratic. That's not by chance, so if what you said had any relevant truth to the matter, that wouldn't be the case.




Here are some relevant facts. In 2006, there were black Republicans running for both the Governor of Ohio (Blackwell) and the Senate in Maryland (Steele).

Blackwell received just 20% of the AA vote.


Steele received just 25% of the AA vote.


Steele did a bit better because he tried to pretend that he wasn't a Republican in a lot of his literature and ads. He was trying to dupe AA's into voting for him because of his race.

So this obviously proves that there are some, around 10% to 15% of AA's that vote race, but this is no more than the number of whites that vote race, or men that vote gender.

The rest of the strong AA voting trends is all about the issues.


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