Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin Drone

More reaction. Reported by Time correspondents: Another week, another Frank Luntz/AARP focus group of undecided voters--this one in Minneapolis and with some bad news for John McCain: they don't like the choice of Sarah Palin for vice president. Only one person said Palin made him more likely to vote for McCain; about half the 25-member group raised their hands when asked if Palin made them less likely to vote for McCain. They had a negative impression of Palin by a 2-1 margin...

This reinforces my feeling that the Palin ploy was going to work worst with the demographic that Obama seemed to be having the most trouble with: older voters. Palin may help in Alaska (but maybe not), but she may have lost Florida, and there are a lot more older voters in PA than Rabid Right true believers.

This from Joshua Green via Ambinder, reporting from the GOPer convention. These are Republicans he's talking about, remember: Most Republicans have never met Sarah Palin and are processing the news of her selection as VP with the stunned-but-well-meaning emotions you might feel toward an acquaintance who just came out of the closet. Those given to caution when discussing such things at a brunch with journalists put a hopeful, might-be-a-stroke-of-genius spin on their astonishment. Those less inhibited--who are also better people--generally see the pick as irresponsible and politically motivated (and not in a good way). No one believes Palin was fully vetted. And no one has any idea how this will play out.

The best analogy I heard came from a bright young Republican operative, who--borrowing from the sports world, as the secret Republican-operative rulebook stipulates one must--likened the Palin pick to an NFL team using the top pick in the draft to select an unheralded, but promising, player from a small college. Looks great on paper: you just hope and pray they can adjust to the speed of the professional game. It's a useful analogy because it gives a good sense of the odds--for every Phil Simms (quick: name his alma mater*) there have been countless small-college players who put up great stats but never caught on in the pros.

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