Saturday, October 25, 2008

T-minus 10

With 9 days of campaigning to go, this isn't the kind of news the McCain campaign wants to hear:
"This is not the time when John McCain can afford a bad polling day. And yet he's had perhaps his worst one of the year.

The national trackers were essentially a push -- three moved toward Obama, two toward McCain, two were flat -- but the action today is at the state level. And boy, there is a lot of action: 29 new state polls entering our database. And many of them contain great news for Obama."
This is no anomaly. After weeks of consistently favourable and upward-trending polls, Obama is probably past "dead girl/live boy" territory and reaching the point where it's almost a mathematical impossibility for him to lose. GOP ship-jumping continues apace, and while the deserters name a variety of reasons for their defections, the common thread is... wait for it... aww, you guessed it! -- Sarah Palin:
"It may yet turn out differently, but at this stage in the campaign for the White House it appears that if John McCain loses in November the turning point will not be the financial crisis hitting in late September but his choice of Sarah Palin as his veep in late August.Two new national polls show that voters cite that choice as the main reason they have turned from McCain."
Yes indeedy, even the women voters to whom Palin was supposed to appeal are saying "Thanks, but no thanks!":
"A whopping 60% of women aged 50 and younger have a negative view of Mrs Palin, according to a poll released by the Pew Research Centre on October 21st. Mrs Palin has also had only a fleeting impact on white women. After the Republican convention white women favoured Mr McCain over Mr Obama by 51% to 40%, according to Gallup. They now favour Mr Obama by 47% to 46%."
But like blind pigs relentlessly searching for non-existent acorns, remaining Palin enthusiasts steadfastly accuse McCain of being the weak candidate. But what can you expect? Pretty much all that's left still standing of the GOP are no-minds, zealots, sanctimonious bible-thumping whackadoos and fetus freaks, so the logic that the Palin pick was insulting to women and radioactive to moderate conservatives doesn't register.

And the repercussions of the ill-conceived campaign will be felt long after November 4th -- it has conservatives deeply divided:
"Conservatives are at each other's throats, and here's what's revealing about how divided they are: The critics of John McCain and the critics of Sarah Palin represent entirely different camps." [...]

"A Pew Research Center survey this week found that among political independents, Palin's unfavorable rating has almost doubled since mid-September, from 27 to 50 percent. Whatever enthusiasm Palin inspired among conservative ideologues is more than offset by middle-of-the-road defections."
Add to that the tension within the McCain campaign itself: between McCain and Palin, between Palin and campaign advisors, between the advisors themselves, one of whom has jumped ship, and wow: not exactly the calm steady hand you want at the steering wheel of state. Republicans, who've used "divide and conquer" tactics with great success for years, now find themselves divided and likely on the verge of being conquered, and ironically, not because of anything their opposition has done but because of what they've allowed themselves to become.