We're are getting a slew of polling now, that completely incorporates the Republican convention in the results. The news, while somewhat temporary, is quite good for the Palin/McCain team. A sizeable bounce, which for the first time since Obama clinched the nomination, puts McCain ahead (plus 3.2% average of all polls). Some of the polling:
USA Today/Gallup (pre-conventionS numbers in brackets):
Rasmussen, slight uptick for McCain, favorable way up, appeal to independents up. Gallup Tracking poll, McCain up 5%, the first outside of MOE lead since the two nominees were chosen. CNN largely unchanged.
Some highlights from the USA Today/Gallup poll:
"The Republicans had a very successful convention and, at least initially, the selection of Sarah Palin has made a big difference," says political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. "He's in a far better position than his people imagined he would be in at this point."
Before the convention, Republicans by 47%-39% were less enthusiastic than usual about voting. Now, they are more enthusiastic by 60%-24%, a sweeping change that narrows a key Democratic advantage. Democrats report being more enthusiastic by 67%-19%.
• Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a national unknown before McCain chose her for the ticket 10 days ago, draws a strong reaction from voters on both sides. Now, 29% say she makes them more likely to vote for McCain, 21% less likely.
Obama's choice of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as running mate made 14% more likely to vote for the Democrat, 7% less likely.
McCain's favorable is slightly ahead of Obama, his unfavorable slightly lower.
Some of the other polls, show the Palin factor, you could interpret the above as a wash on that score. However, just simple common sense suggests that Palin is largely responsible for the Republican bounce- does anyone think McCain would have received this uptick on his own?
My biggest concern with Palin, was that her inexperience negated McCain's talking point against Obama. However, that has been largely negated, as McCain's team has done a good job turning around the question- if McCain's VP is inexperienced, what about the Democrats P? Still an issue, but not like I envisioned.
On Palin's views, some anecedotal things I've heard, many seem prepared to support, despite questioning some of her positions. I think the media has failed to properly understand the dynamics at play here, focusing on the bread and butter, the half scandals, when really many are just seeing a fresh face, a strong woman with the same sort of star power as Obama. And, therein lies the Democrats challenge- has Palin stole some of Obama's thunder, has she closed the "enthusiasm" gap?
Big crowds, bigger buzz, that will not abate, not your typical VP selection. In that sense, I'm comfortable saying Palin is a game changer, in so much as everything is turned upside down, people recalibrating for the final push. That isn't to say anything about ultimate success, but there is no question a phenomenon is at play. And, before Democrats get in a tizzy, it is important to remember how they have benefited from the exact same superficial appeal, the rapt media and all the other tertiary stuff. The Messiah meets Wonder Woman- only in America :)
This might just be the most fascinating primary and presidential race season in American history.