Sunday, August 31, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Today’s National Journal Online poll of bloggers is about the Palin pick. There is clear divergence between left of center (loc) bloggers and right of center (roc) bloggers.

None of the loc bloggers think Palin will “Help a Lot” while 11 roc bloggers think Palin will “Help a Lot”.

I was the lone roc blogger who thought she would “Hurt a Little” because:

She takes away McCain’s ability to attack Obama’s lackof experience with any credibility

On balance, as I noted yesterday, I think that the experience issue is one of McCain’s best lines of attack, and it is now blunted (and I am not alone in my belief that this pick wasn’t the best option for McCain. For example: here).

I do think she helps with the base, but if one has to excite one’s base at this late date, then one has a problem. Indeed, based on reading initial reactions to the pick, Palin excites the base more than McCain ever did or ever will. Of course, the fact that at the moment she is essentially a blank slate helps on that score (i.e., she can be whatever people want her to be).

So take the positive of exciting the base with the loss of the experience argument and include also the fact that we really don’t know how well she will perform on the national stage and you get hurts a little to potentially hurting a lot.

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16 Responses to “NJ Bloggers Poll on Palin”

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    1. Boyd Says:

      I congratulate and respect you for, once again, staking out your position with a prediction. I happen to think you’re mistaken, but time will tell which of us is right.

      Thanks to Bill Dyer following Governor Palin for almost six months, I’ve been familiar with her political career for a while now. I was hopeful that she would be Senator McCain’s choice, and naturally I’m quite pleased with her selection.

      I’m optimistic. Part of that comes from what I know about the Governor, and part of it comes from the fact that I just like her, which is obviously an irrational/emotional motivation.

      But it’s that combination of knowledge and logic with emotion which is going to carry the day for the McCain-Palin ticket, I believe.

      As I said before, time will tell.

    2. texmexgal Says:

      I think McCain made a brillant choice. An independent, I am a conservative, but was not wild about McCain, but because of his choice of Palin, he now has my vote. Paline seems like a real down to earth, capable female that I can identify with.

    3. C-SPAN Convention Hub: Republican National Convention (RNC) – John McCain 2024 » Blog Archive » NJ Bloggers Poll on Palin Says:

      [...] NJ Bloggers Poll on Palin posted on August 31, 2024 at 3:02 pm [...]

    4. Clark Says:

      What worries me most about Palin is her environmental policy (especially regarding drilling in the ANWR). I think it is evermore important for us, as consumers to support ‘green businesses’ that benefit the environment. For example, stops your postal junk mail and benefits the environment.

    5. devildog666 Says:

      Unfortunately your analysis indicates an inability to think ‘out of the box’. Sara Palin was the best choice, a truly brilliant choice. The party base was not into this election. Many of us were going to sit this one out, but now not only are we going to vote, we are donating our time and money to help win this fall.

      This choice will pull in just enough independents and conservative Democrat women to win.

      The experience issue is a non starter for most Americans when you compare actual accomplishments in office that benefit the people, not the old boy network. Obama – Biden, you have to be joking, they are the epitome of old politics as usual.

      I’m stoked.

      Semper Fi

    6. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:


      I may yet be wrong, I fully allow that. But I will reiterate: if the only way for the base to be excited about the top of the ticket is to be excited about the second slot, then there is something fundamentally with the top of the ticket. And that fact goes to the ultimate ability of the candidate to be elected.

      I agree, as I have noted elsewhere, the base-excitement thing is a plus, but is it enough? And if one is having to engage at base-excitement this late in the game, one is well behind the curve.

    7. Ohio Granny Says:

      I would think a person with “Dr.” in front of his name would be more nuanced. In reality, the question of experinece becomes more front in center when loc v roc bloggers try to compare the choice of a man with enormous life experience vs. a guy who made a good speech in 2024. A governor vs. a long time politican? Gee, wonder if the names Clinton or Carter got the same put downs or screams. Or did the thing between their legs give them gravitas?

      No candidate wins without his/her base. Period.

      Please tell me why spelling potato wrong (like Dan Quayle) is worse than saying 57 States (like Senator Obama – A SENATOR WHO IS ONE OF ONE HUNDRED FROM THE 50 STATES)? Because the media made it so. Exactly what was so awful about Dan Quayle any way? His Murphy Brown statement was more inappropiate because it wasn’t a VP job to critic TV.

      Any other candidate would have been a yawn. But more importantly, I believe Sen. McCain wasn’t choosing a running mate for the next 2 months, he was choosing a person who would add help him fight corruption and shake up DC politics for the next (hopefully) 8 years.

    8. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

      Ohio Granny:

      Yes, but in 1992 1988 it was Bush who beat Dukakis, not Quayle who beat Bentsen.

      Note: error corrected.

    9. devildog666 Says:

      Dr. Steven Taylor:

      One thing for sure, if you don’t have your base, you lose!

      This could be analogous to running the 800 m race. The person with the reserves left to pass up the field after they have spent their energy is the winner.

      Suddenly the left is saying experience matters, well duh!!

      Who has the most executive experience? Palin is the vision of an independent, hard working, American frontier woman. These appeals to the average voter. I think Palin will hold blow Biden away during the debates.

      Semper Fi

    10. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:


      Indeed. Please read this. I agree that exciting the base is a big positive here. But to take that and leap to the notion,a s some seem to be doing, that this then gives McCain a huge edge misses the fundamental point that if one is trying to excite the base this late in the campaign (especially when the other party’s base it quite excited) shows serious weakness for the top of the ticket.

      And, we have yet to see if the gamble plays out well over the next week and then into the campaign (which is really all that I wrote above).

    11. Ohio Granny Says:

      Exactly! You make my arguement for me.
      Please tell me what John Edwards as VP in 2024 brought to the ticket except his cancerous wife and his “my daddy was a mill worker”. Was it his vast experience in foreign affairs? You are saying that 4 years ago, America and the Democrat Party were not ready for a black, hispanic, or woman but in 48 months, suddenly we are, but only for a black guy with little or no experience and not a woman with limited executive experience. I think that is lame.

      What difference does it make, in the annals of history, if the base is excited on day 1 or on election day? The base had a problem with McCain. He fixed it. Big time.

    12. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

      Ohio Granny:

      But my overall point is this: McCain cannot win on the base alone. As such, an excited base is nice (and I am not convinced that this will be a long-term excitement, either), but it is nowhere near enough.

      Once the buzz fades, the race is McCain v. Obama, and Palin is a footnote. As such, the excitement and buzz about Palin is not as significant as you and others are making it out to be.

    13. devildog666 Says:

      Dr. Steven Taylor:
      My replies were about your comments:
      “I was the lone roc blogger who thought she would “Hurt a Little” because: She takes away McCain’s ability to attack Obama’s lack of experience with any credibility”.

      I believe she helps McCain, a lot. You might have a point that it’s late in the game to excite your base, but no base is no win, so I don’t see how she would “hurt a Little”

      The Republicans are going into the final sprint with a full head of steam. This is going to be the most exiting US election in a century, maybe ever.

      Semper Fi

    14. Ohio Granny Says:

      Additional thoughts:
      Obviously I’m not a political science person but if memory serves me, Benson/Dukakis would have been the better ticket. Also, it wasn’t Bush v Dukakis, it was Reagan’s 3 term v some liberal from New England.
      When it was Bush running on his own, he lost, but then he wasn’t running against Clinton. It was Bush v Clinton AND Bush v Perot. So Quayle was a non-factor, because Bush was a known factor and the incumbent. Bush lost that election on his own.
      I believe you were the one linking to the Quayle comparison, hence my reference.
      But as to Palin as a Person of Experience….. Ask any one of the guys on either ticket who balances the family checkbook, and I’m thinking it is the ladies. “The woman behind the man” resonates here. A woman with a rifle.

    15. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

      Devildog/Ohio Granny:

      One suspects that we aren’t going to resolve this now. I will be talking about this issue on a near-daily basis between now and the election, and will comment on whether, over time, Palin appears to be helping or hurting McCain. Feel free to comment (even gloat, if you like) if I am wrong.

      I will try this one quick summation: VPs rarely help, but they can hurt. The risks here are great, and hence I think the likelihood is that she will hurt a little–it won’t take but a handful of mistakes to lead to people questioning the choice.

      If she is pitch-perfect on the trail, then I will be wrong about the “hurt a little” prediction. Based on past observations of presidential campaigns, this seems unlikely.

      Further, in general in life, the more one gets to know the details about another person, the more there is to potentially dislike. To date, we have mostly gotten the controlled, positive highlights of Palin’s career. It will take time to know if that is the only story.

      And again: I am not talking about how you specifically react to Palin, but am interested in the what the long-term aggregate effect will be.

    16. devildog666 Says:

      Dr. Steven Taylor:

      One last post and I have to wean myself from the blogs. The probability is that long-term net aggregate effect of Palin will be positive, here’s why:

      Most of religious right and pro-lifers were either going to sit this election out or cast a protest vote for Bob Barr or Ron Paul. This would meant McCain could possibly lose parts of the south and the swing states of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania due to the large rural evangelical votes in those states. Palin could stick both feet in her mouth and unless she was found to have downed a secret baby in an ice fishing hole, she’s not going to lose that vote. The same goes for gun owners. There are many Democrats in the NRA that were leaning toward Obama, Palin has solidified that vote for McCain. I’m sure she will make a gaff, but at this point I don’t see it making much of a difference to the core constituency McCain has finally got to come aboard with his pick of Palin.

      Semper Fi

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