September 8, 2008

IT'S NOT THAT THE POLL NUMBERS MATTER...:

John McCain has found a muse in Sarah Palin: Ever since she became the Republican presidential nominee's running mate, he's been noticeably feistier -- and they're drawing crowds together. (Maeve Reston, 9/08/08, Los Angeles Times)

He is a feistier candidate with Palin at his side. With his blue shirt sleeves rolled up, he punches out his lines with gusto, railing against the "old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd," stabbing the air with his Sharpie marker and thumping the lectern with his fist.

Aides acknowledge that Palin's presence has turned McCain into a sharper campaigner, and that is perhaps why she abandoned her plans to return to Alaska this weekend. Instead, she will accompany him for two more days than planned this week.

Cognizant of the splash their rallies have made on television, the campaign scrapped plans for a visit to a laboratory in Columbia, Mo., today, choosing instead to rally in Lee's Summit, Mo.

And McCain, who once struggled to match the ability of his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, to draw large crowds, is now being flocked by throngs of supporters.

On the GOP ticket's first post-convention stop, supporters jammed the streets of Cedarburg, Wis. And in Sterling Heights, Mich., there were more than 7,000 people chanting -- not McCain's name, but "Sa-rah! Sa-rah!"

Much the same happened later that night in Albuquerque, where a crowd of 6,000 appeared. Dustin Spilsbury, whose 3-year-old daughter was hoisted on his shoulders, summed up his Sarah Palin fever as he watched her work the rope line.

"I'm ready for her for president -- I wish it was switched," said Spilsbury, a 30-year-old auto glass technician who lives with his wife, Shannon, and their two children in nearby Rio Rancho, N.M. "We love her. I just wasn't going to vote at all, [but] she sold us both."

"She does more things than we do -- the hunting and the fishing, the outdoors stuff, the kids and the bills. She understands us," he said.


Obama's Reeling (Jeff Lehner, 9/08/08, Free Market Politics)
As of this writing, Barack Obama and John McCain are tied over at Intrade. Mac's up 6; Obama's plunged 7 since the close of business yesterday. For a brief moment this morning, McCain actually led.

...but there's an interesting way in which the polling could start to play out. It's possible that after the convention bounce the race settles in at dead even or goes back and forth a bit, but suppose Maverick/Palin retain a lead for a couple weeks. Senator Obama has managed to avoid questions about his electability and qualifications because he kept winning. He's even gone so far as to say that the winning presidential campaign he's running shows that he's a good executive. But what if he's running a losing election campaign in the most favorable electoral environment for Democrats since Herbert Hoover? Don't those questions come back and at the worst possible time for his campaign?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 8, 2008 11:30 AM
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