Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Has Palin's Political Career Tanked?


Wisely, Harry Reid, has finally told Max Baucus to stop wasting time watering down health care reform by compromising away benefits for working family to make Medical-Industrial Complex, Insurance CEOs and their Republican shills happy. The sooner they realize that the Republicans are irrelevant, the sooner the country can start making progress for the ordinary American families who have been fleeced and sheared by Big Business with the active connivance of the political establishment over the last few decades.

The hard core base of the GOP, may still be so unhinged from their own best interests to want to place a Know Nothing extremist like Palin into the White House but... they're pretty much alone. Mainstream Republicans-- as well as independents-- were less likely to have voted for McCain because of Palin's presence on the presidential ticket.
A look at other national data reveals that on balance, John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin hurt him more than it helped across most segments of the American electorate. The data also reveals a lesson that is often forgotten among political operatives: voters want more than a candidate who holds certain positions or values; the character, tone, and competency of candidates also matter. Voters can and do distinguish between someone who shares their values and someone who would serve the public well.

...Among white evangelicals, the religious core of the GOP base, three-quarters (75%) agreed that Palin shares their values. But even among this group, only 3-in-10 said her selection made them more likely to support the McCain ticket. In contrast, a majority (54%) of white evangelicals say her selection made no difference for their support for McCain, and an additional 14% say her selection made them less likely to support McCain. But the real evidence against a successful Palin national campaign appears when we look into the electoral middle, at the attitudes of two important swing groups, white Catholics and political independents.

Among white Catholics, Palin was a clear drag on the ticket. White Catholics supported McCain over Obama (52% to 47%), and nearly 6-in-10 (58%) white Catholic voters reported that Sarah Palin shares their values. However, only 16% of white Catholic voters said McCain’s decision to tap Palin made them more likely to vote for him. In contrast, more than 1-in-4 (27%) reported that Palin’s selection made them less likely to support the GOP ticket, and a majority (55%) of white Catholics said it made no difference.

Even 40% of Republicans think her new quitter status has hurt her chances to win the GOP nomination. She's virtually tied with Romney as the most likely Republican for the sacrificial lamb position for the 2012 election. Most Democrats, of course, are praying that Palin's the one. She's accumulated quite a record... of abject lies and serial deceptions.

Above And, Um, Beyond

UPDATE: Do Mainstream Republicans Want Palin Coming In And Campaigning For Them?

It would probably work in the secessionist parts of the Old Confederacy but normal Americans, even mainstream conservatives, aren't that interested in having Palin on the campaign trail with them. New Jersey Republican Chris Christie, who persuaded his party's primary voters that he's a fanatic right-wing lunatic-- and worthy of their votes-- might have wanted Palin to appear with him in some lilly-white suburban shopping malls a few months ago but now-- when he needs independents and moderate voters to win a general election-- he won't get anywhere near Palin. She says part of the reason why she decided to step down as governor of Alaska is to help Republicans win elections in the Lower 48. Christie has sent some not so subtle messages her way suggesting she stay south of the Mason Dixon Line. The head of the state GOP, a slimy political type named Jay Webber, said "We don't have any plans on having her in."
Palin is getting a lukewarm response in Virginia, the other high-profile governor's race this year. Republican candidate Bob McDonnell said Tuesday his campaign had conversations with the Palin camp, but stopped short of saying whether he wanted her help.

In an interview with, McDonnell called Palin a "good spokesman" and said he would welcome anyone who wanted to come to Virginia on his behalf. McDonnell, a former state attorney general, is in a tight race with Democrat Creigh Deeds to succeed outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine, a moderate who now chairs the Democratic National Committee.

For their part, Democrats in both New Jersey and Virginia were eager to link their rival GOP contenders to Palin.

Down in the Deep South, of course, it's a very different story. Closet KKK members, anti-American obstructionists, and secessionists like Palin herself are clamoring for her to come to their events. Texas' secessionist governor is in a tight re-election primary campaign against a mainstream conservative, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and he has been bragging that Palin will be in Texas to help him round up the red neck votes in some of the state's most far right areas. Remember, even if normal Americans-- including mainstream Republicans-- see Palin as a joke, the far right GOP base, nurtured daily by brain-killing propaganda from Fox, Limbaugh, Dobbs, Hannity, Coulter, fundamentalists, etc, love her the same way mobs of ignorant tools in Germany, Italy, Austria, and Spain embraced fascists with similar world views in the 1930s.
Of all the dimensions on which Palin can be viewed, the one that is most crucial for any national ambitions she may hold is the most fundamental: is she qualified to be president? One might focus on her issue positions, her personality, her policy knowledge but the most basic question voters could and did ask in 2008 was "is she qualified to take over as president if that became necessary?" That's what all the other details boil down to. So let's take a quick look at how the 2008 campaign affected that view among voters.

From the announcement of her pick as VP through the convention and before her first national news interview with ABC's Charles Gibson, Palin had a small plurality seeing her as qualified to be president rather than not qualified. For an essentially unknown governor from a remote state, this reflected a mix of partisanship, trust in McCain's judgement, a well received convention performance and a bit of benefit of the doubt.

Confidence in Palin's qualifications declined following the ABC interview, though this also coincides with the financial crisis and the suspension and then resumption of the McCain campaign. That period also represents a shift of support which had briefly trended in McCain's direction following the GOP convention. So we should be reluctant to attribute all the change in views of Palin to her ABC interview alone and other events undoubtedly affected perceptions. Nonetheless, by mid-September a significant plurality of voters had come to see Gov. Palin as not qualified to be president.

In late September Palin appeared on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, first on September 24 and 25, then again the next week on the 29th and 30th. Two polls taken after the first two interviews and simultaneous with the second two, suggest some further negative impact of these appearances. And of course, reaction among political professionals was that the interviews were disasters.

These interviews were followed almost immediately on October 2 by the Vice-Presidential debate, which was generally seen as a success for Palin, certainly in comparison to the expectations set by the Gibson and Couric interviews.
The flurry of polling following the VP debate clearly shows more movement in public opinion. While the percentage seeing Palin as qualified held steady at about 40%, those seeing her as not qualified rose from just under 50% before the Couric interviews to about 53% after the debate.

But the ultimate problem Palin faced with the electorate at large is not about individual events of the campaign, but about the overall trend. From the beginning to the end of the campaign, Palin steadily lost ground with the electorate. Each week more voters perceived her as unqualified to be president. Her base of support was about 40%. Those seeing her as qualified declined from the high 40s to a stable 40% through the last 2/3rds of the campaign,  with one final poll falling a bit below that.

The "not qualified" trend rose, from the low 40s in early September, to nearly 60% by election day.

Qualified, schmolified... stuff like that doesn't matter to Texas Republicans. They just want someone as stupid, bigoted and ignorant as they are themselves in office. Remember, in any normal part of America, John Cornyn would be considered an extreme right wing fanatic. At a Texas tea-bagger party a few days ago he was booed for not being far enough to the right. There isn't much further right you can go than Cornyn without getting into some dangerous treason-- but if there is... it's Sarah Palin. She wouldn't get this kind of reaction Texans gave their own lunatic fringe senator:

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At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

In the Memorial Spirit.

TODAY we are ALL Quitters.

Palin/Bachmann 2012
Because the Raped Must Birth

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Jack Jodell said...

Palin-Bachmann would be a suicidal attempt at "Pa-Bach" to the country for having rejected McCain-Palin last time. How are Palin and hemorrhoids alike? Both are big pains in the ass which flare up every so often and never seem to go away! I can't believe that ANYBODY takes the impulsive, superficial, and narcissistic blabbermouth known as Sarah Palin seriously! What a total idiot!


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