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GOP Challenges: VP and Campaign Focus

A majority of voters now say John McCain's vice presidential pick reflects poorly on the types of decisions he would make as president, and most "movable" voters think his campaign has veered into unjustifiable topics in the final weeks.

The numbers, from a new Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted Thursday through Saturday, highlight the GOP ticket's stark challenges in their now-underdog bid for the White House.

Overall, 52 percent of likely voters said they are less confident in McCain's judgment because his of surprise selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin; 38 percent are more confident because of it. That is a stark reversal from the initial, positive public reaction to the pick.

Just after the GOP convention, 52 percent of independents, and 64 percent of independent women said the Palin pick made them more confident in how McCain would make presidential decisions - those numbers have now dipped to 39 and 37 percent, respectively.

Moreover, among those who remain undecided or said they might shift between now and Election Day, 35 percent have better views of McCain's decision-making because of the Palin pick, far fewer than the 57 percent who feel assured by Barack Obama's choice of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as to be the Democratic No. 2.

These persuadable voters are also among the least apt to see the new GOP focus on 1960s radical William Ayers and the community group ACORN as legitimate campaign issues.

Nearly seven in 10 movable voters said Obama's past relationship with Ayers is not a legitimate issue; likewise, a narrow majority see the Obama campaign's association with ACORN as not germane (another two in 10 are unsure on the community group).

These data are from a new Post-ABC poll; more data will be released here at 5 p.m.

Some key crosstabs follow ...

Q: Regardless of your vote preference, does ... choice of ... 
as his running mate make you more confident or less confident 
in the kind of decisions Obama would make as president? 
[(vol) no effect and (vol) no opinion not listed.]
(Changes from post-GOP convention poll in parentheses.)
McCain's of Palin...

             More         Less     
           confident    confident   

All LV      38 (-12)    52 (+13)      

Dem          8 (-16)    82 (+16)
Rep         70 (-10)    20 ( +8)
Ind         39 (-13)    51 (+15)

Ind men     42 ( +2)    51 ( +9)
Ind women   36 (-18)    52 (+22)

Movable     35 (-17)    48 (+13)
Obama's of Biden... 

             More         Less     
           confident    confident   
All LV      56 ( +1)    31 (+ 2)

Dem         84 (+10)     5 ( -9)
Rep         31 ( -5)    56 (+13) 
Ind         50 ( -3)    33 ( +3)

Ind men     48 ( -5)    40 (+11)
Ind women   54 ( +2)    26 ( -6)

Movable     57 (+ 6)    28 ( -2)

By Jon Cohen  |  October 20, 2008; 12:01 AM ET
 
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Comments

The result on Palin is not surprising. Even if she were a superstar, Steve Schmidt has chosen to hide her away from public scrutiny (Joe the Plumber has literally had more interviews than Palin has.) When you hide someone away, people get suspicious and suspicion leads to doubt. And suspicion allows rumors to become accepted in the absence of fact. One more amateurish move by the campaign.

Posted by: Pragmatist | October 20, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

"McCain-Palin, I Got You Babe"
(I Got You Babe, Sonny & Cher)
WilliamBanzai7

[HER:] They say we're dumb and we don't know
We won't find out until we know
[HIM:] Well I don't know if all that's true
'Cause you got me, and baby I got you

[HIM:] Babe
[BOTH:] I got you babe I got you babe

[HER:] They say our campaign don't pay the rent
Before it's earned, our money's all been spent
[HIM:] I guess that's so, we don't have a pot
But at least I'm sure of all the things we got

[HIM:] Babe
[BOTH:] I got you babe I got you babe

[HIM:] I got a plumber fixin the sink I got you to wear my VP ring
[HER:] And when I'm sad, you're a clown
And if I get scared, you're always fartin around
[HER:] So let them say your hair's too gray
'Cause I don't care, with you I just can't use my bong
[HIM:] Then put your little hand in mine
There ain't no political hill or mountain we can't climb

[HIM:] Babe
[BOTH:] I got you babe I got you babe

[HIM:] I got you to hold my running mate hand
[HER:] I got you to misunderstand
[HIM:] I got you to walk the media plank
[HER:] I got you to talk gibberish with me
[HIM:] I got you to for the good fight
[HER:] I got you to aim my rifle sight
[HIM:] I got you, I won't let go
[HER:] I got you to endorse me even though...

[BOTH:] I got you babe

Posted by: williambanzai7 | October 20, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Golly, how come all them people aint supportin our mavericky Prezidint Palin and John McCancer no more?

Posted by: peter | October 20, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Want to send John McCain a vote of "No Confidence"?

If so, go here and sign this petition:

http://www.McCainPetition.com

Gregg

Posted by: Greggegregg | October 20, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Looks like people would rather vote for the guy that pals around with terrorists. If McCain was smart he'd apologize to Obama for a year of nasty lies and attacks, and spend these last days of the campaign trying to regain his credibility.

Posted by: Hemi | October 20, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

One has to wonder how much the media can be trusted to report the facts - given that it's been obvious for some time to the majority of people in the USA that Palin is not intellectually qualified to be VP - or God forbid step in for the President - why has the media allowed the GOP to run rampant with misleading our nation on ACORN and Ayers when it's apparent from the facts there is no justification for it? Is it because most of the top media people decision makers are in the upper echelon of income earners who tend to be republican?

Posted by: Carl | October 20, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

What exactly does Palin bring to the table, putting aside the very real dangers of her likely presidency if elected? She's supposed to be an "energy expert", but doesn't seem to realize that America barely has any oil to speak of. She's supposed to be "one of the people", whatever that means, but by that logic, couldn't anyone be president? She's supposed to be a "maverick", but that is a term that is neither positive nor negative. President Palin would almost certainly be impeached.

www.usparliament.blogspot.com


Posted by: Jacob | October 20, 2008 3:00 AM | Report abuse

The rest of the world saw america re-elect a warmonger. Expectations are low. Positive surprises are welcome.

Posted by: awaler | October 20, 2008 4:30 AM | Report abuse

Honor. Mr. McCain. Oxymoron. How sad!

Posted by: frank | October 20, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS CAUSE HOUSING COLLAPSE ACCORDING TO WASHINGTON
INVESTIGATORS
Associated press release follows....

WASHINGTON – Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081020/ap_on_bi_ge/the_influence_game_housing

Posted by: Gary Gelormino | October 20, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

McCain is a man of great intelligence. Unfortunately, he allows stupidity to override it, sometimes. Just plain sad.

Posted by: Sher3 | October 20, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

To usparliament...
Sarah Palin was put on the ticket for one reason: she is a member of the religious fundamentalist base that Karl Rove created in 2000 to bring an inept and inarticulate Texas governor to the White House.

Posted by: Lorijen | October 20, 2008 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Part of the economic appeal of the Republicans to "Joe the plumbers" was that the tax cuts would make his employer stronger; and then Joe can keep his job. Even though that claim was always dubious, it is totally invalid today. Back in early days of Reagan, this country had a largely self contained and national economy. Today, there is no guarantee that the employer keeps his windfall of low taxes to hire Americans. As a matter of fact it is quite unlikely that he would do that. There is no longer an incentive for Joe to support the Republicans. That is why McCain and Palin are resorting to all the foolish jingoisms to keep him in their camp.

Posted by: Max4 | October 20, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

The Cher and Sonny song is so fitting for the jokers on GOP top ticket. You are a genius indeed.

Posted by: Dressy Pinky | October 20, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS CAUSE HOUSING COLLAPSE ACCORDING TO WASHINGTON
INVESTIGATORS
Associated press release follows....

WASHINGTON – Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081020/ap_on_bi_ge/the_influence_game_housing

Gary Gelormino Seven Hills Ohio 44131 (216)447-0081

Posted by: Gary Gelormino | October 20, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

The only relevance to ACORN is the fact that the Republicans continue to use it as a smokescreen for their voter suppression efforts. If we didn't learn this lesson from the US Attorney Firing Scandal, I guess we'll never learn. But I also think it's worth noting that the only major arrest for "voter fraud" to have come about so far this cycle was NOT against ACORN, but against a major GOP organizer in California.

Posted by: thisniss | October 20, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I am still unstrung by McCain's cynicism in thinking women would flock to Sarah Palin's banner just because we share a cromosome. What the heck is that about? This Hillary voter is all for Obama. Go Barak!

Posted by: GrandyK | October 20, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I am still unstrung by McCain's cynicism in thinking women would flock to Sarah Palin's banner just because we share a cromosome. What the heck is that about? This Hillary voter is all for Obama. Go Barak!

Posted by: GrandyK | October 20, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Obama Biden 08...!!!@@@

Posted by: Netherlands Antilles | October 20, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Obama Biden 08...!!!@@@

Posted by: Netherlands Antilles | October 20, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA BIDEN 08...!!!@

Posted by: NETHERLANDS ANTILLES | October 20, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I am a personally conservative Christian mom and, as of this year, a Republican turned Independent. I think the Republican Fannie Mae lobby is just one more example of the top 5% taking care of themselves at the expense of the rest of us. How incredibly selfish to need over $250000 per year! And how odd that they can get the middle and lower economic groups to "follow them". It is also odd that true Christians could support this kind of thing at all. I think Jesus would be voting for Obama, who is definitely the more religious/moral of the two candidates. I also believe in the separation of church and state even more now. Watch the video of The Crucible to see the dangers of Christianity gone wild!
Please....go vote everybody!

Posted by: Louise | October 20, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it, Palin was not McCain's choice, she was the bases's choice. He had never even heard of her, and met her just once before announcing. The most arrogant decision of all is her acceptance. Why could she not tell him, and the base, she's not ready? What thinking candidate would jepordize this country's security by such a selection? McCain, that's who. He has turned into a puppet of the base. Everyone knows his choice was, and is, Lieberman, which is not great, but at least a ready to be president choice. Now we have the eloquent endorsement of Gen. Powell, which should once and for all dispel the myth that Obama is not ready.

Posted by: jbrubin | October 20, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I assume that Hemi's "pals around with terrorists" comment was a reference to McCain's close ties to G. Gordon Libby, right?

Posted by: eomcmars | October 20, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

In Colorado Springs this morning, Governor Palin said, "You betcha" we'll get this economy going again.

Oh, my. I just can't see how even fervent Republicans aren't disappointed in her polarizing selection.

Posted by: amaikovich | October 20, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

It's impossible not to report this stuff. At a campaign rally this morning, Governor Palin said, "Joe the Plumber was the winner of last week’s debate."

Then, "Joe Biden says higher taxes are patriotic. Joe the Plumber said it sounded to him like socialism."

Even after being totally discredited (they couldn't find a Joe who actually would be adversely affected by a Senator Obama presidency?), they continue the soundbites. And they wonder why the media doesn't take her seriously.

Oh well.

Posted by: amaikovich | October 20, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin passed the test on SNL. She is more than qualified to have her own show.

Posted by: David Young | October 20, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Democratic operative Alec Baldwin put Palin into proper perspective this past Saturday night on live television:

"You're even hotter in person."

Ask my wife how this would make Palin a desirable elected leader of the free world. I'll save you the trouble--it makes Palin less desirable, that's what.

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | October 20, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama you can do it. Its your time to shine!!!

You are Dr. Martin Luther King reborn
WE LOVE YOU BARACK OBAMA

Posted by: KYA | October 20, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Ah, had only the Republicans nominated McCain in 2000:

. Smart man at the helm.
. Resistant to the right wing, Baptist zealots and big oil.
. Iraq? What Iraq.
. Afghanistan - now there's a place for a surge.
. Less likely to dilute the EPA.l

He may even have listened to the clear warnings in 2003 ish about the over bubbled mortgage markets and done something about it... (I admit this is a bit much...)

Posted by: Allen Braun | October 20, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Palin is the reason I voted, for the first time in my life... AND I VOTED FOR OBAMA!

Posted by: JG in NC for OBAMA | October 20, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is the Gateway Meme into the sheer confusion and hypocrisy that is the McCampaign, as pointed out on the Apocalyptic Kiwi Sept. 3:
http://apocalyptickiwi.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/just-say-no-to-sarah-palin/

Posted by: lestro | October 20, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS REPUBLICANS CAUSED HOUSING COLLAPSE WITH STEALTH MONEY

AP Press Release........
WASHINGTON – Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

Associated Press Release link follows

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081020/ap_on_bi_ge/the_influence_game_housing

Gary Gelormino Seven Hills Ohio 44131 (216)447-0081

Posted by: Gary Gelormino | October 20, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The first major decision McCain made was to pick a VP. That pick ended up being Palen and his campaign has been on the decline ever since My Friends. For the first time in modern era a VP has not been allowed to appear on ANY of the Sunday morning news shows.McCain claims he puts Country First. I guess McCain and Palen think it is a small country.

Posted by: Unitedwestand3 | October 20, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Palin is a psycho, animal killer. Her psycho father looks like the crazy guy on the Movie, Saw IV, posters. I read he made her hold animal eyeballs and body parts as a child. I would not want a morally depraved person like Palin to have any access to the White House. I like McCain and would have voted for him. Oh, well....

Posted by: Joy | October 20, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

www.need4trth.blogspot.com

MCCAIN IS OUT OF TOUCH AND UNHINGED....

at best, he is erratic.

Now as to McCain and his TIRED ANTICS....

All McCain is interested in doing is winning the presidency no matter the cost. Even at the lost of his HONOR and INTEGRITY. He charges Obama with being ambitious. Yet, his very own ambition is controlling him and it has taken precedence, over judgement, honor, integrity, and common sense. In other words McCain has given himself over to FOOLISHNESS and LIES. The Center piece of his campaign is guilt by association, false charges of treason and socialism, hate/race baiting, demonizing Islamic people ie Muslims, accusations of domestic terrorism (from 40 years ago),using ACORN as a scapegoat ie voter fraud, to cover up the attempt of the RNC and John McCain's campaign of Voter suppression, voter purging, and vote caging, and now trying to tie Obama's fund raising to "scandal", and Watergate. The Audacity of John McCain, who is the current friend of convicted Watergate scandal participant and "Domestic Terrorist" G. Gordon Liddy, to even hint at this, is beyond HYPOCRITICAL. McCain said of Liddy, "he is a Good American" and "My Friend", This is the same G. Gordon Liddy who instructed his radio audience on how to kill ATF agents. This is McCain's friend. A convicted Watergate Participant, and domestic terrorist. Judgement and Character. McCain is a sad study in fools.

Posted by: need4trth | October 21, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

You wonder why Palin's popularity is dropping? Because she started opening her mouth. Watch this for a laugh:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTwAGmDLW4M

Posted by: Did I mention the VP Runs the Senate? | October 22, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

The campaign has been a bit rocky for the Republican ticket, but rest assured, McCain-Palin will now begin closing the gap with their compelling new slogan:

Shop, baby, shop!

Posted by: Hugh Briss | October 23, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

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