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Palin Pushing Fencesitters Towards Obama in Florida

Clearly, Sarah Palin was a short-term asset for the McCain campaign. As the polls dramatically demonstrated, she caught fire in a sense and definitely energized the GOP going into the convention, and also helped create a bounce coming out of the convention that had a lot of Democrats worried.

Worry no longer, the Sarah Palin reality is setting in, and amidst Obama's recent rise in the polls and signs in the polls that the Palin bounce is over, there are also signs that Palin herself is contributing to the rise in the polls by Obama.

Five weeks ago, the St. Petersburg Times convened a group of Tampa Bay voters who were undecided about the presidential election. Their strong distrust of Barack Obama suggested it was a group ripe for John McCain to win over.

Not anymore. The group has swung dramatically, if unenthusiastically, toward Democrat Obama. Most of them this week cited the same reason: Sarah Palin.

"The one thing that frightens me more than anything else are the ideologues. We've seen too many," said 80-year-old Air Force veteran Donn Spegal, a lifelong Republican from St. Petersburg, who sees McCain's new running mate as the kind of "wedge issue" social conservative that has made him disenchanted with his party.

"I'm truly offended by Palin,'' said Republican Philinia Lehr, 37, of Largo, a full-time mother with a nursing degree who voted for George Bush in 2004. Like Palin, she has five children and she doesn't buy that the Alaska governor can adequately balance her family and the vice presidency.

No doubt there are pockets of support for Palin where people feel differently, but this sample is notable and relevant coming out of Florida, a key battleground state.

What they're saying about Palin

"The one thing that frightens me more than anything else are the ideologues. We've seen too many."
Donn Spegal, 80, St. Petersburg, Republican Air Force veteran

"I'm truly offended by Palin. You're somebody's mom and what are you going to do, say, 'Excuse me, country, hold on?' "
Philinia Lehr, 37, Largo, Republican full-time mother

"That was almost insulting. Do they think we're really stupid? ... I'm definitely leaning toward the Democratic side now. Sarah Palin scares ... me." "
Rhonda Laris, Temple Terrace, Democrat

"She is Dick Cheney with a dress on."
Bill Chever, 56, St. Petersburg, Independent Air Force veteran

Update: NYT Op-Ed columnist Charles Blow:

In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted this week 77 percent of Republicans said that they had a favorable opinion of Palin. But when asked what specifically they liked about her, their top five reasons were that she was honest, tough, caring, outspoken and fresh-faced. Sounds like a talk-show host, not a vice president. (By the way, her intelligence was in a three-way tie for eighth place, right behind "I just like her.")

When those Republicans were asked what they liked least about her, they started to sound more like everyone else. Aside from those who said that there was nothing they didn't like, next on the list were: her lack of experience, her record as governor and her lack of foreign-policy experience.

Also, most Republicans think you [John McCain] only picked her to help with the election, not because she is qualified, and a third said that they would be "concerned" if for some reason she actually had to serve as president.

Update II: More evidence that the Palin effect has been reversed:

Obama has recovered his support among white women after they deserted him for Sarah Palin, according to a CBS poll last week which showed that he had turned a 19-point deficit into a two-point lead in just nine days.

That's a stunning turnaround.


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Comments (7)

Typical White Person:

YOU WISH.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

It's a fact. There's no "wishing" involved - it's not my opinion - these are facts.

ProudTexan:

It's pathetic, Lee,

Still attacking Sarah Palin? If she were so damaging for McCain, while that wild howling from Obama'fans?

Like Obama, you have allowed Sarah Palin to get into your head. Somebody has coined the term "PDS", that's what you are suffering from: Palin Derangement Syndrome. She has succeeded in making you all go crazy.

By the way, honest and serious pollsters stay away from anecdotes, especially those involving Republicans and Democrats that are labeled as "undecided" at this time.

ttg:

Sheesh Lee. The St. Petersburg Times?? Have you been to St. Petersburg lately? It's a melting pot of ethnic groups, retirees and tatoo fanatics - The first group having a very hard time discerning sentences in English,let alone understanding the ideology behind the candidates. Dementia has beset many of the retired folks and the rest learn about politics from Saturday Night Live and during the few minutes that their remotes land on NBC while surfing channels. Wonder what their polls would say if they asked those same people some pertinent history questions. My bet is that they went to some laundromat to get that poll. Palin has far more promise than Biden who has been dwelling in the senate for years with no noteworthy accomplishments to speak of other than being one of the most cantankerous ol timers there now. This is why the libs hate Palin, simply because the truth hurts.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

SHAME ON YOU Republicans for calling our vets demented just because they have different political views than your own...

"She is Dick Cheney with a dress on."
Bill Chever, 56, St. Petersburg, Independent Air Force veteran"

""The one thing that frightens me more than anything else are the ideologues. We've seen too many."
Donn Spegal, 80, St. Petersburg, Republican Air Force veteran"

MN:

Oh please, the St. Petersburg Times is as far left as they come. Probably the most liberal paper south of D.C...of course they will print anything that is worshipping Obama.

Yeah, "undecided" voters, lol. For their "focus groups" they handpicked people that they knew ahead of time would tell them what they wanted to hear (Perhaps we should look into the size of the "group" -- 11 people?). This doesn't even pass the laugh test. If this "focus group" were typical McCain Obama polls would be 30% McCain to 60% Obama.

Believe anything published in this newspaper at your own risk. It has had to downsize substantially over the last couple of years -- and for good reason.

Even if this were technically true, rather than a transparent ploy to rattle the GOP and deprive them of one of their most effective assets, it would still be wrong, because we've heard scores of cases where just the opposite effect occurrred, making Palin a net gain. My own experience with other people is that, if anything, Sarah Palin has pushed far more people the other way...including former Hillary supporters.

The press knows this and they are out desperately looking for any smidge of data to make it look the other way.

"The one thing that frightens me more than anything else are the ideologues. We've seen too many," said 80-year-old Air Force veteran Donn Spegal, a lifelong Republican from St. Petersburg,"

Lifelong Republican? Then why was his only documented campaign contribution 11 years ago to a Democrat?

http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/contributor.phtml?d=516961770

MN:

"""The one thing that frightens me more than anything else are the ideologues. We've seen too many."
Donn Spegal, 80, St. Petersburg, Republican Air Force veteran""

You mean DEMOCRAT Air force Veteran. I dont think its too hard for the St. Petersburg Times to go out and find an Air Force Veteran who is an actual Republican that never donated to Democrats. Then again, they didnt want to because that might mean the Veteran might not tell them what they wanted to hear.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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