CNN Post Debate Poll: 53% Still Believe Palin Unqualified to Take Over as President

In a CNN post-debate poll, 53% of those polled say while Gov. Sarah Palin exceeded their expecations in the debate tonight, they still believe Gov. Sarah Palin is unqualified to take over as President. Numbers below:

  • Who Did the Best Job In the Debate?
    Biden 51%
    Palin 36%
  • Biden did better or worse than expected?
    64% better
    14% worse
    20% same
  • Palin did better or worse than expected?
    84% better
    7% worse
    8% same
  • Palin qualified to serve as President?
    Before debate:
    42% yes
    54% no
    After debate
    46% yes
    53% no

As to the poll:

A national poll of people who watched the vice presidential debate suggests that Democratic Sen. Joe Biden won but also hints that Republican Gov. Sarah Palin exceeded expectations.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey is not a measurement of the views of all Americans, since only people who watched the debate were questioned.

< Biden: McCain's Health Care Plan the Bridge to Nowhere | CBS Post Debate Poll: Biden Won 2:1, Moved More Uncommitted >
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  • Display: Sort:
    84% think she did better than expected (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:17:56 PM EST
    Tweety and his gang say that she ''beat the spread".   This has to be helpful to McCain, briefly.  

    Of course Biden did better, but I think this will be seen as a win for Palin anyway.  Bummer.  

    she couldn't have done worse than (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:23:52 PM EST
    expectations, which were set at zero.

    She didn't stumble but she had no place to fall (As Bob Dylan would put it.)

    The question is whether it changes anything. I think it does not. She didn't turn voters to McCain and that's what he needs to win.


    God save us (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 12:49:32 AM EST
    from the result of low expectations.

    Gwen Ifill did her part in insuring that Palin would survive.  Ifill moderated nothing, she allowed Palin to avoid question after question. There's a hell of a lot of difference between being fair and being accommodating. Accommodation is a disservice to the public.

    Palin looked bad in the Couric interviews because she was pressed for answers.  Ifill made sure that wouldn't happen in front of a larger audience many of whom attempting to determine who gets their vote.  Once again the Village people (media branch) insure that the truth is hidden from the American people.

    Next election Ifill should not be allowed to moderate anything.  She may have been worked by the refs on this one and there's no point in giving her another chance.


    Terms of the debate (none / 0) (#22)
    by wasabi on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 06:30:53 AM EST
    The terms of the debate were set by Obama and McCain teams.  I don't think there was the option to pose follow up questions as Lehrer did with the Presidential debate.  This was all renegotiated in late September after the Palin interviews started coming out.

    "In the negotiations, Republicans wanted to limit the amount of time available for their neophyte candidate, Palin, to be questioned on a single topic."


    It was (none / 0) (#25)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 09:07:53 AM EST
    a strategic blunder by the Obama team to accept such conditions. They were allowing Sarah Palin's incompetence to be hidden.

    Ifill still could have kept her in line by demanding she answer the questions.  That's not a follow-up that's simply retaining order and it's something that should be demanded of a "moderator."

    If our definition of moderator has fallen so low it's yet another symptom of our willingness to accept incompetence in our elected officials.

    WE're treating our political system like a big joke.


    When you're in free fall (none / 0) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:30:50 PM EST
    you're not looking for 180 dgree bounce back up; you just need a ledge to stop the fall.

    McCain got that tonight.


    Look, I've been a diehard Clinton supporter (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by boot on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:27:51 PM EST
    and was really enthused with McCain's Palin pick. So enthused, that I've been banned on this blog before.  On the issues, I'm as moderate as they come.  And yet, I think Biden handily won the debate.  Palin came off really condescending, she tried really hard to emasculate Biden from the get-go.  All her "Gosh darn it" lines and winking were forced and unnecessary.  She came off as someone who memorized a 30 minute speech and tried to use as much of that speech as possible and where ever she could.  Biden came off as a likable, knowledgeable, and classy guy who picked and chose what to go after.  Biden focused on McCain, and did what Obama couldn't even successfully do last time to tie McCain with the Bush administration.

    If I were (none / 0) (#19)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 12:54:43 AM EST
    a Saturday Night Live writer I'd have an absolute ball with this one.

    I hope it's not too late to get a debate skit into Saturday's show.


    I agree 100% (none / 0) (#28)
    by jar137 on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 10:44:21 AM EST
    That is exactly the reaction I had.  I am flabbergasted at the pundit chat on this one.  I knew the republicans would try to spin it in Palin's favor, but the pundit class has really outdone itself.  I actually felt bad for her because it was apparent she did not have enough time to master enough issues.  So, whenever she was posed a question she couldn't answer, she simply pulled another answer out of her hat.

    ah (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:50:15 PM EST
    Biden won the debate, which is sort of what matters.  He returned every serve and she left half of them go right by.

    As Matthews also said, "she looked like she was reciting things at a spelling bee".


    He did very well. (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Salo on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:58:00 PM EST
    Although there is a glaring inconsistency in the foreign policy that'll have to be ironed out in Blood and treasure of course.

    disagree (none / 0) (#2)
    by dws3665 on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:21:14 PM EST
    when more than 50% think you aren't qualified to hold the office for which you're running, that's not a victory.

    Good thing she's not running for President! (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:24:54 PM EST
    I don't think she's qualified to be President now either.  But that doesn't mean she's not qualified to be VP now.   She seems bright enough.  She can learn on the job, just like many other VP's.  

    one heartbeat (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by dws3665 on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:26:17 PM EST
    you don't think people understand that?

    and the public is already coalescing around not really liking McCain. He needed something, and this debate didn't give it to him.


    William Henry Harrison (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:28:51 PM EST
    You sure about that?

    William Henry Harrison

    The oldest President elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, Harrison had served 32 days in office, still the shortest tenure in United States presidential history

    You think Palin can learn every think she needs to know in 32 days?


    Harrison got sick on Inauguration Day (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:48:50 PM EST
    and died 30 days later. He was 68 when elected. Link:

    [Harrison]took the oath of office on a cold and windy day, March 4, 1841. Despite the extreme cold he faced the weather with no coat on, and delivered the longest inaugural address in American history, at nearly two hours. It would have been longer had Daniel Webster not edited it.

    This proved to be his undoing, however, as during this address he caught a cold, which developed into pneumonia. He passed away a month later on April 4, 1841, becoming the first American president to die in office. John Tyler succeeded him to the Presidency shortly thereafter.

    Before he died, he was treated with opium, snakes and other things and became delirious. So his VP had to be prepared on less than 30 days notice.


    The cabinet will be in place (none / 0) (#17)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 12:51:31 AM EST
    If McCain dies on day one.  Just sayin'.................

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Steve M on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 12:54:17 AM EST
    Are the Democrats making special arrangements to confirm all McCain's appointees in advance, so Sarah Palin will have access to their advice just in case?  That would be unusual.

    LOL (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 05:22:01 AM EST
    That would be. . . (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 06:52:29 AM EST
    the fastest cabinet confirmation on record.  In fact, I doubt whether all the appointments will have even been announced.

    So if Palin became President after 30 days not only would we have to deal with an incompetent ideologue in the White House but we'd get a cabinet entirely composed of her brothers-in-law and other people who passed her personal loyalty test.


    Palin (wink, wink) (none / 0) (#29)
    by Carole on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 10:54:02 AM EST
       Well, she didn't wet herself, if that is the standard. Shucks, ya know?
       I'm a bit upset that Ifill didn't call her on some things, but then Biden didn't either. She had that cutsy way about her, the tattoed lips, the puffy little cheeks, whats a guy to do? Gee, ya can't expect Joe SixPack not ta just fall all over that. Fer shure.
       I just wish McCain would stop calling me his "friend" and that SPalin would stop winking at me.  It makes me uneasy.  
       If something horrible happens and those two Horrors should win, I'll have to look for some better place to live. Like, maybe Bangladesh.
    Ya can betyer life, sweetie,



    surevy on who watched it on CNN?? (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Yotin on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:22:04 PM EST
    The polls are all over the place. My guess is it depended on what station the survey group watched the debate from. If so, it tells me that bias in each media station do have an effect on how people view the candidates. Or people choose media stations who tilt toward their views.

    No, this has nothing to do with who watched (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:24:48 PM EST
    these are scientific polls conducted over the telephone with polling companies. The polls are of uncommitted voters.

    not all are with uncommitted voters (none / 0) (#8)
    by dws3665 on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:27:11 PM EST
    CBS's was uncommitted; I am not sure about CNN's.

    true, CNN was of those who watched (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:53:10 PM EST
    but not necessarily uncommitted. This CBS poll was of uncommitted.

    A personal reaction (none / 0) (#20)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 05:14:52 AM EST
    Everything was rolling along smoothly.
    Both candidates seemed rational and were making their statements which were usually used a word in the question as the starting point for a little prepared speech that was tangentially related.
    Ifill had no follow-ups or challenges. Everything was coasting along.

    Then, it happened.

    Palin, in discussing the rights of homosexuals, with a bit of a strange fire in her eye, felt impelled to make clear that she wouldn't want to threaten the traditional view of marriage - that it is between a man and a woman. I thought to myself - that's it. She looks like a right wing nut case. She's unravelling. Debate over.

    Not to worry.

    Biden, as soon as he could, hastens to chime in that he and Barack share that same opinion.

    Back to the drawing board.

    yes she did! (none / 0) (#24)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 08:38:03 AM EST
    Palin did better or worse than expected?

    of course, when the "expectation" is that you won't be able to breathe, stand and talk simultaneously, without falling flat on your face, it doesn't really take much to exceed that.

    why are we even having this discussion? this twit has no business on a 2nd grade, mock-election presidential ticket, much less a real one.

    I think it was a win for Obama (none / 0) (#26)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 09:52:27 AM EST
    She squeaked by because the bar was set so low, but the effect is that the media can ignore her.  She will still get large crowds of people that were going to vote for McCain out to see her, but the story line will stop there.   She didn't set herself to take any moderate women who were leaning towards Obama away from Obama.  Which is good.  The less time focused on her and more about real issues is the best thing for Obama.

    Palin said (none / 0) (#27)
    by Natal on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 10:11:34 AM EST
    she "tolerated" gays. That's not the same as saying accepted. It's a very telling comment on her part.