Saturday, September 06, 2008

McCain's Scheme to Attract Clinton Voters Not Working

According to the AP:
Evidence shows that [Sarah] Palin is not drawing a lot of support from voters outside the Republican base. An ABC News poll released Friday found the selection of Palin makes people likelier to vote for McCain by just 6 percentage points.

That's just half the 12-point margin by which Sen. Joe Biden makes them more likely to support Barack Obama.

And as for Clinton supporters, eight in 10 said they would vote for Obama in November, according to a Gallup Poll conducted last weekend after McCain announced his selection of Palin.
Perhaps the McCain team should have spent more time using Palin to attack Biden rather than Obama since Biden makes them twice as likely to vote for Obama than Palin makes them likely to vote for McCain.

But if Norm Ornstein is correct and McCain was backed into selecting Palin because several state delegations threatened to walk out of the convention if he went with his first choice, Joe Lieberman, then the real misstep came much earlier. McCain would have had a lot more credibility with Independents and some Democrats if he had said, "Look: I am breaking with business as usual. I am bucking my party and the social conservatives, who have been wrong for the last 8 years. In the spirit of bipartisanship and for the sake of all sides in our country, I am choosing Joe Lieberman to be my running mate."

He could have more legitimately claimed the mantle of change. And ironically, it might have even rendered Barack Obama's decision not to put Hillary Clinton on the ticket weaker than it turned out to be, not because she is a woman, but because it would have brought the two sides of the Democratic fight together more quickly and easily. The Iraq War still would have been an issue, but a host of other problems that attach to Sarah Palin and George W. Bush would have been easier to shed.

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