Focus Groups: No Game-Changer

If recent focus group studies are any guide, Palin's speech was not quite as useful as some fear it would be.

Here is feedback from two groups in Nevada:

In two different focus groups of Clinton-supporting Nevada women -- married and unmarried -- conducted immediately after Gov. Sarah Palin's Wednesday night speech to the Republican National Convention, a few common reactions quickly took shape.

First, women in both groups were impressed with Palin's speaking ability and poise. But they were hardly convinced that she was qualified to be vice president, or that she truly represented the "change" they were looking for, especially in light of what was deemed an overly harsh "sarcasm" pervading her address.


In the "married" group, when one attendee kicked off the discussion by saying "she's a good speaker, and a crowd pleaser," the rest of the room articulated their agreement. "I didn't expect to be as impressed as I was," said another respondent. But then another woman added: "Once she started mudslinging, I thought, it's the same old crap as other politicians. McCain used her to get the women's vote. And she's using McCain."

"Thank you," another woman responded. "That really upset me; there was no need for that. It was snippy."

The unmarried group also voiced similar objections to the harsh, partisan edge of Palin's remarks. "I'm not impressed with her at all as a person," one said, citing her "finger pointing" and general sarcasm after the group had generally agreed that she was a talented public speaker.

Still not all focus group members thought Palin came off too harsh. "She didn't seem very aggressive to me at all," said one unmarried participant.

But in both groups, narrow majorities said they held a more negative view of Palin after her speech. "She comes off pretty cutthroat," said one. /female-clinton-supporters_n_123794.html

Hm...probably not the reaction McCain was hoping for.

Tags: Focus Groups, Nevada, Palin (all tags)



Re: Focus Groups: No Game-Changer

Let's see how this plays out.

Personally, I think a bump is coming, but not from the middle moving to her, but from the Evangelicals going nutzoid.

But, they want us to panic, they want the media to BELIEVE she is a game changer.

They will start trying to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Hell, some new troll on another thread made the claim California will soon be in play, because of Palin's call to women?

Here's the thing.

IF she gives them a bump, DON'T PANIC!

The naysayers will flood in, but stay cool.

Like Obama, be a counter-puncher.

Let Biden and Obama hit the road, and pray the media FOR ONCE pretends it's not People Magazine, and really does look at Palin with an objective eye.

Really, they did what they had to do:Solidfy their base.

We have to Solidfy ours and fight like hell for the middle.

Me, I will take Joe Biden vs Sarah Palin on the stump, and be at peace with it.

by WashStateBlue 2008-09-04 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Focus Groups: No Game-Changer

I agree.  They'll see a bump out of this, but only because the Republicans are so desperate at the moment.  But then, any VP choice who gave that speech would have accomplished the same thing.  This did not accomplish what they needed to do to win.

by rfahey22 2008-09-04 11:04AM | 0 recs
One thing I want to know

I notice in the lastest polls that nader is getting between 3 to 5%. In what states is nader actually on the ballot?

I sure wish nader would GO AWAY and go back to doing what he is best at!

by kevin22262 2008-09-04 11:26AM | 0 recs
Attention wh0ring

That is what he's best at, after all.

by iohs2008 2008-09-04 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Depends on the size of the bump

Sheeeeit, he'd have to get a bump of 10 points to get ahead of Obama by any significant amount.

by vcalzone 2008-09-04 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Focus Groups: No Game-Changer

If you see McCain's number go up a point or two, it's the Republican right base solidifying for McCain. Unless Obama's numbers drop more than a point or two, there's probably no movement among independents.

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if both numbers don't stay put or move up a little (basically, fewer leaners). Almost all of the polling thus far indicates that Palin's roughly a wash in terms of support (picking up the base, losing independents).

National polls are largely meaningless anyway, and actually are probably biased towards showing this as more of an event than it is (i.e. it's meaningless if McCain's support grows 5% in every red state while the blue and purple state numbers don't move at all), but they are interesting for tracking this. I'm not expecting battleground state polls to move much.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-09-04 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Depends on the size of the bump

So will I, but I can't see HOW she gives him a HUGE bump?

What could cause that? I would have to see the internals.

But, given where we are, I am not going to panic, still think our ground game is better....

Though, let's face it. The Evangelical churches are in this for real, and they can turn out the troops like no one else...

Personaly, I am hoping God is Democrat (wink!!!)

by WashStateBlue 2008-09-04 12:17PM | 0 recs
Bravo. Make that a diary now!

Remind people that they are likely to get a bump, likely to show McCain ahead in some polls after the RNC convention, and that it's not an excuse for panic.  It is predictable.  

There are so many spineless Democrats.  I used to think it was just the ones in Congress, but it's part of the base, too.  Constant state of panic.  Whenever a bad poll comes out, somebody's ready to jump in and say, "I tolja so, we're SO DOOMED!"

by Dumbo 2008-09-04 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Focus Groups: No Game-Changer

I wonder what a focus group of working-class white men - preferably in Ohio - thought about Sarah's speech.

by KTinOhio 2008-09-04 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Focus Groups: No Game-Changer

I don't think the McCain Camp is dumb; they did not choose Sarah so she could get those disenchanted voters. They know that most are going for Barack since they were for Hill and Hill is for Obama. However, Sarah can get those uncommitted married women who like in the suburbs like Hamilton, OH and Bensalem, PA who make or break an election. The soccer moms of the 1996 and the security moms of the 2004.

by American1989 2008-09-04 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Focus Groups: No Game-Changer

However, I see two problems with this line of thinking. First, the Detroit Free Press had a similar focus group but with men and women. In that group, the independents were much more negative towards Palin than were the Republicans or even the Democrats. Granted, these are small samples but it appears that she trades driving up the base with driving down independents. That's a losing proposition for McCain.

Second, I'm not sure soccer moms turned into security moms. You can point to any one demographic group and say they are the determining factor in an election. However, the same can be said about Hispanics, young voters or a number of other groups.

We should have a much better idea of the impact in a week or so once the bounces from the conventions fade away.

by kjblair2 2008-09-04 12:11PM | 0 recs
just heard on msnbc...

37 million tuned in to her speech last night...  1.4 million less that obama.  that's pretty crazy.  and while i dont dispute the intention of this diary - huffpo jumped the shark days ago (well months ago really) on palin with the eagleson timer.

by canadian gal 2008-09-04 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: just heard on msnbc...

Huffpo didn't conduct the focus groups, it merely reported the results.

by rfahey22 2008-09-04 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: just heard on msnbc...

There you go with your "facts" again.


Seriously, though. I work with a Repub male and an independent (very religious) woman.

The Repub male thought she's a good bomb thrower but with nothing to back it up (he thinks Obama doesn't have enough experience either, though he does respect Obama's educational background); the independent woman thought Palin was too negative and said something about the Democratic convention being more positive.

I started the day pretty concerned, but was breathing easier after that.

by Bush Bites 2008-09-04 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Focus Groups: No Game-Changer

Dick Cheney with Lipstick.

by Bush Bites 2008-09-04 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Focus Groups: No Game-Changer

This Nevada woman disagrees with those Nevada women. One of the things that our society, especially for those members with liberal leanings, lacks, is a sense of humor. Sarah Palin wasn't 'snippy' - she was bright, articulate, funny and interesting. Perhaps the women who found her to be otherwise are the ones who value Hillary Clinton - their exposure to the real world ended years ago. Did they really listen to her or were they put-off by her intelligence and attractiveness? I won't vote for a candidate just because of the sex they were born as, the color of their skin, or because of veteran status. But, I will vote for someone who won't tax business out-of-business.

by momcoburn 2008-09-05 08:19AM | 0 recs


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