Wasn't Sarah Palin Supposed To Help John McCain In The Mountain West?

Certainly, in choosing Sarah Palin to be his running mate, John McCain has managed to take Alaska and North Dakota off the table. They are swing states no longer. But there seemed to be the assumption that her appeal...and their collective appeal as "Two Westerners versus a Midwesterner and an Easterner" as Sean at 538 puts it, would accrue to their benefit all throughout the Mountain West. Turns out there's evidence that the further south you go, the more Sarah Palin appears to be having the reverse effect.

Public Policy Polling has begun to poll New Mexico (1,037 LVs, Sept. 17-19, MOE +/- 3%), only to find the state may be out of reach for John McCain.

Obama 53
McCain 42

And how does Sarah Palin fare in the poll?

Sarah Palin is not very popular with New Mexico voters. While 38% said her selection made them more likely to vote for John McCain, 46% said it made them less likely to do so. Among independents 47% said her place on the ticket made them less likely to vote Republican. Overall Barack Obama has a 16 point advantage with that demographic.

Since PPP doesn't have a trendline in New Mexico, it's interesting to note that, per Pollster, in the first three polls taken in the state after the choice of Palin was announced (ranging from 9/8-9/15) Obama's average lead was 2.3%; in the most recent three polls (ranging from 9/14-9/19) Obama's average lead is up to 8.67%.

Certainly, not all of this falls on Palin's shoulders, but as PPP notes in the analysis of its new Colorado poll (1,084 LVs, Sept. 20-21, MOE +/- 3%), there is a direct correlation between Palin's favorables and McCain's poll numbers.

First, take a look at their new numbers (9/8-9 results in parentheses):

Obama 51 (47)
McCain 44 (46)

An 8 point swing in 12 days. Now, how is this result related to Sarah Palin's favorables, defined as whether or not Sarah Palin's addition to the ticket makes respondents more or less likely to vote for McCain?

A precipitous drop in Sarah Palin’s approval may be helping to fuel Obama’s gains. Immediately after the convention 41% of Colorado voters said that her selection made them more likely to vote for John McCain, compared to 38% who said it made them less likely to do so. Since then there’s been a 12 point drop in her net favorability. Now just 38% say that she makes them more likely to vote for the Republican, with 47% saying they’re less likely to do so.

Or put another way (thanks to PPP's blog for the chart):

Palin favorability41/3838/47
SpreadObama +1Obama + 7


No doubt other factors, such as the economy, have played a role in Obama's surge out West, but it's hard not to conclude that John McCain is beginning to have a Sarah Palin problem there as well.

Tags: Barack Obama, Colorado, John McCain, New Mexico, Sarah Palin (all tags)



But the Colorado numbers are "bunk"

In the comments of his Swing State Update post, Jerome told us that the PPP Colorado poll is bunk and that PPP is full of crap.  So I guess that negates half of this analysis.  Actually, maybe it negates all of this analysis because the New Mexico numbers cited here are from PPP as well.

by OGLiberal 2008-09-23 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: But the Colorado numbers are "bunk"

I find it interesting that one front page poster decides that the numbers are crap, and the other cites them as good news.  I don't want lockstep opinion, but I don't want point/counterpoint either.  Jerome's just the wet blanket of the site, I guess.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-09-23 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: But the Colorado numbers are "bunk"

Much as I think Jerome intends to rain on the parade at times, the person you are referring to is a parody troll - "JerORNE Armstrong."  The r and n together look like an m if you read it too quickly.

by rfahey22 2008-09-23 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: But the Colorado numbers are "bunk"

It doesn't help that Jerome's last 3 (4?) front-page posts on polling make it all but impossible to tell them apart.

by zombieflanders 2008-09-23 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: But the Colorado numbers are "bunk"

Damn, he fooled me.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-09-23 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: But the Colorado numbers are "bunk"

He fooled me to.  My bad.  Apologies...although it does say something that I didn't see the post as being unlike something the real Jerome would post.

by OGLiberal 2008-09-23 01:00PM | 0 recs
Without Colorado & New Mexico

The GOP's only chance is by flipping Pennsylvania or pulling electoral college trickery. In which case Obama will NEED the popular vote, because if McCain is ahead in the popular vote, his people will argue that some of the electors should switch their vote if they want to. Sound familiar?

by vcalzone 2008-09-23 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Wasn't Sarah Palin Supposed To Help

Is there a way I can blank out the front page post? I really just like to read the side diaries and access the state blog links. Differing opinios are fine, but this site is suffering from a split personality between those who are optimistic and those who only pop up to put a negative spin on everything, and call "bunk" to anything that disagrees with their narrative. It reminds me of the primary seson when someone kept posting that polls showing John Edwards running third in Iowa meant that he clearly had the advantage.

by RandyMI 2008-09-23 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Wasn't Sarah Palin Supposed To Help

We saw almost exactly the same effect in the VA SUSA poll as well. Prior to Palin Obama was winning women by 6%, after Palin, 16%.

for whatever reason  Jerome seems to be consistently cherry picking the poor end of the polls. But given his particular primary stance I suppose it is not surprising.

I don't want smoke blown up my ass from overly optimistic polls, but neither do I want doom and gloomers over-weighting the other end.

Work hard, work smart and we can pull it off.  Hell the D challenger in KY is withing 3 points of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 9 point swing in six weeks, another 4 or 5 in the next six weeks and we have a big coup.

by notedgeways 2008-09-23 11:59AM | 0 recs
Can we stop calling NM a swing state now?

Seriously. Why is NM a toss-up and VA a lean-GOP?

by iohs2008 2008-09-23 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Can we stop calling NM a swing state now?

NM is a swing state, but it is not in play.

by RandyMI 2008-09-23 12:08PM | 0 recs
Hockey Mom Wingnuts in Minnesota

The MN polls remain distressingly close. Unfortunately, I think there's a significant

Wingnut Hockey Mom

demographic in MN - ref Michelle Bachmann

by tietack 2008-09-23 01:05PM | 0 recs


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