The Palin Effect
By Margie Omero
As we continue to discuss the Palin Effect, more data have emerged. A recent ABC News poll shows that partisanship, as opposed to gender, is a far greater predictor than of attitudes toward Governor Palin.
Across nearly every dimension, Republicans have rallied behind McCain's VP pick, with Democrats and independents more ambivalent. A full 80% of Republicans say the pick makes them more confident in McCain, compared to 59% of Democrats feeling less confident (independents are more divided, 44% more confident, 37% less confident).
And charges that the press have treated Palin unfairly resonate with Republicans more than they resonate with women. More than half (57%) of Republicans say she has been treated unfairly, with less than half as many Democrats (27%) agreeing. The difference between men (55% treated fairly) and women (46%) is smaller, with women more likely to be undecided than men.
When we ask the ultimate question–how does each candidate's VP pick affect one's vote–we see Palin moving the Republican base, but not others. Two-thirds (67%) say Obama's selection of Senator Joe Biden has made no difference to their vote, while fewer (55%) say the same about Palin. But Palin elicits more saying they are "less likely" to vote for McCain (19%) than say the Biden pick makes them less likely to vote for Obama (10%).
Further, as the report notes, Palin runs up the score among Republicans and evangelicals (+37, +32 more minus less likely to vote for McCain, respectively). But moderates say Obama's pick of Biden makes them more to vote for Obama (+12 more minus less), with Palin having neither a positive or negative net affect for McCain.
… It seems increasingly unlikely that former Hillary Clinton supporters will move to McCain because of Sarah Palin. But during the heat of the Republican convention, the Republican base is indeed energized.