We have some early polls now from Rasmussen
and others. Rasmussen gives us some good detail:
...a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 53% now have a favorable opinion of Palin while just 26% offer a less flattering assessment.
...By way of comparison, on the day he was selected as Barack Obama's running mate, Delaware Senator Joseph Biden was viewed favorably by 43% of voters.
Sounds like she's getting off to a right start.
As for voters not affiliated with either major party, 37% are more likely to vote for McCain and 28% less likely to do so. Those numbers are a bit more positive than initial reaction to Biden.
That sounds even better.
When Biden was selected, just over half (52%) of Democrats believed he was the right choice. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Republicans say McCain picked the right running mate in Palin, and 40% of unaffiliated voters agree. A week ago, 31% of unaffiliateds said the same about Obama's selection.
Now this is a little surprising, but it appears that McCain has really unified his party around Palin. Rasmussen goes on to say that the Democrats vehemently disagree.
Now the bad news:
Just 29% of voters say Palin is ready to be president if necessary, ten points below the 39% who said the same a week ago about Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a 36-year member of the Senate. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Republican voters say she is ready along with 32% of unaffiliated voters and 11% of Democrats.
So the task at hand in the upcoming week is to fix the experience issue and introduce Sarah Palin and her record to the American public. As they did with Joe Biden, her numbers will rise.
One thing that is clear from this, even allowing for argument is that this pick is certainly no worse, apart from experience, than Obama's pick of Joe Biden, and could be significantly better.
Equally clear is that Palin will make very little headway with Disaffected Clinton supporters. Although Rasmussen disagrees, I don't think that's the strategy here. My prediction is that this pick signals a significant shift from arguing on experience to reform. Palin was a reform candidate in Alaska, and McCain has run his entire career on being the reformer. I think they are out to wrest the change and outsider label away from Obama's hands and go at his strongest point, that of being a Washington outsider. Palin very much reinforces that attack.
I could be wrong, but we'll know soon. Gallup
is out and have somewhat similar numbers but worse for Palin especially on the experience numbers. Unlike Rasmussen, they used registered and not likely voters. Zogby
is also out but uses their infamous online system. Which is why I stuck with Rasmussen, but checkout the Gallup and Zogby numbers if you are interested.
Tagged: Barack Obama
, John McCain
, president 2008
, Sarah Palin
, vice president