CNN Poll of Polls: Palin May Have Peaked

The CNN poll of polls is out, showing that leading national polls show Barack Obama with a 3 point lead over John McCain.

The latest poll of polls consists of four surveys: CBS/The New York Times (September 12-16), Gallup (September 15-17), Diageo/Hotline (September 14-16) and American Research Group (September 13-15). It does not have a sampling error.

The economic crisis has given Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, the opportunity to go on the offensive. Most Americans see Obama as more capable than McCain when it comes to the economy, polls indicate.

CNN reports Gov. Sarah Palin may have peaked. Not a moment too soon, in my view. And it's not just me. [More...]

The words I hear most frequently to describe Palin's nomination, from my normally not particularly political friends and colleagues, to those at my non-partisan hair salon, and everywhere in between, are "scary," "horrifying" and "outrageous." A few have said she makes them "apopleptic." Others have said they want to throw the remote at the television whenever she comes on. All of them now view McCain as desperate and pathetic for stooping to this Hail Mary pass. They will never forgive him for potentially endangering our country with this supremely unqualified candidate.

So it's a good thing that polls show McCain isn't likely to get away with his cheap stunt. As I frequently say, in the end it's going to be about whether there are more of them (radical right fundamentalists, ultra-conservatives and bigots) or more of us. Nothing has galvanized "us" to get out and vote more than the prospect of Gov. Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency and the evangelical extremists holding a huge I.O.U. chit over John McCain's head.

McCain couldn't win this election on his own, and now he appears unlikely to win even with Palin. We're not home free yet, just closer to the goal, so I'll be keeping the pressure on.

One more tip: Sign up for a vote by mail ballot. Don't risk having election day problems with lines and voting machines interfere with having your vote count.

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    ::sigh:: (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:31:21 PM EST
    Polls are roller coasters that go up one week and down the next.

    And VP candidates are chosen for a number of reasons including to cover gaps in the POTUS candidate's CV.

    Biden was chosen for a number of reasons including covering Obama's six re: FP. Palin helps bring in sections of the base that have been hesitant about McCain (a guy they see as a RINO).

    Both VP choices? Meh...

    I saw the Newsweek cover today in (5.00 / 0) (#25)
    by hairspray on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:05:40 PM EST
    the grocery and it was ALL Palin.  I also noticed a few women's magazines with Palin holding her newest and stories inside about disabilities.  I don't think those stories are over yet.

    Yay for disability awareness. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Fabian on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:26:21 PM EST
    Let's just not get into the debate about the decision to terminate a pregnancy for whatever reason.  Having seen worst case scenarios at some distance in the hospital, I know I wouldn't want to see them up close.  

    Biden is at least qualified (2.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:38:25 PM EST
    I won't stay up at night fearful for the country if there's a crisis with Biden as #2. I would with Palin and the thought she could be #1 if something happens to McCain is unfathomable.

    ya (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:46:06 PM EST
    I keep seeing the image of Martin Sheen in The Dead Zone saying, "the missiles are flying" with that crazed look.

    eh... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:47:35 PM EST
    please don't bring up that "McCain's going to die from cancer soon" meme.

    As the daughter/sister of two breast cancer survivors, I'm pretty turned off by that frame. Additionally, my great aunt has had a number of melanoma treatments...and her doctor informed her that she's going to be attending her 96th birthday next July.

    Frankly, I'm scared--both by the devil I know and the devil I don't--no matter what at this point.

    So trying to use "scare" as a rhetorical strategy leaves me...blah.


    Presidents die (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by coigue on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:55:42 PM EST
    no matter what their health is.

    And Palin is a scary successor...mostly because she is a right wing nutcase.


    but your relatives aren't running (3.50 / 2) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:53:51 PM EST
    for President, McCain is. He's 72 and not in great health. Whether it's cancer or past heart attacks like Cheney, it's relevant and a reality. I won't stop bringing it up. I write what I think and feel. That's why I have a blog.

    Has McCain released (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by themomcat on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:54:07 PM EST
    his recent medical records? Regarding his melanoma, patients free of the disease after 5 years have about a 14% chance of recurrence and less than a 9% chance of dying from it.
    At 72, he has a greater chance of dying from a heart attack but from what I have read he has no heart disease. I would be afraid of Palin becoming President if McCain were 35. Anyone can die suddenly regardless of how old they are or what their medical history is.

    And I didn't bring it up here (3.50 / 2) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:54:42 PM EST
    you did.

    You've brought it up plenty... (3.50 / 2) (#21)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:56:36 PM EST
    and, if you read my post, I requested that you not bring it up...

    The way I look at it is (none / 0) (#51)
    by onemanrules on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:47:15 AM EST
    that IF something happens to McCain, I would in no way feel comfortable with Palin as President. To me a vp has to at least be competent, Palin is far from competent for the job she is running for. If something happened to Obama, I would most definitely feel comfortable with Joe Biden. Something can happen to anybody at any time, that's why people buy life insurance. If McCain becomes president, he would be doing it without a life insurance policy for the country.

    Well... (3.50 / 2) (#20)
    by Thanin on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:55:45 PM EST
    its not unrealistic to be concerned about a mans health when hes 72 years old, which is the average life span of someone from his generation.  That's not meant as an insult to anyone or a cruel statement.  That's just pragmatic..

    Health is relevant... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:11:37 PM EST
    as part of the larger picture. But so is the awareness that men around McCain's age are living a lot longer than they have in past generations.

    At least I hope so...cause I'd like to have my dad around for a whole lot longer than the next 4 years.


    Thats a good counter... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Thanin on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:19:38 PM EST
    and of course no reasonable person wants anyone to start dying.  So like you say health is relevant and I think there is away to have objective discourse about it without it being insulting or having anyone take it as an insult.

    According to the Census Bureau (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by K Lynne on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 08:19:59 AM EST
    The life expectancy of a 70-year old man is 83 years.  

    Link (to page which quotes the Census Bureau)...


    Men do live a lot longer (3.50 / 2) (#29)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:19:10 PM EST
    BUT they are usually slowing down substantially at his age, at least in work.

    I think it kinda depends (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:27:51 PM EST
    on the man in question. There are some that do slow down.

    And then there are men that keep going like the Energizer Bunny until the batteries just stop (My favorite Econ professor was one of the bunny types. He literally passed on tying his shoes as he was getting ready to go and teach...at 85).

    The question is...what kind of man is McCain? And can you make the argument without being ageist and engaging in scare tactics?


    hm (none / 0) (#37)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:35:01 PM EST
    Dole's age was an issue in 96.  Reagan's age was certainly an issue in his second term when he was taking lots of naps and forgetting things. Both were McCain's age.

    It is absolutely appropriate, imo, to discuss a potential death.  He would be the oldest first term president in US history and his father died at 70, his grandfather at 61. He's 72 iirc.


    As someone (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by andrys on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:42:59 AM EST
    approaching 70 soon, this is an unnerving read.

      But then, I'm not a man, so avg is likely higher.


    Heh... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:37:24 PM EST
    and Reagan turned it right around and used it against Carter...

    iirc (none / 0) (#39)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:39:20 PM EST
    He used it against Mondale.

    But that doesnt address the point.


    what was the point again? (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:45:08 PM EST
    Oh right...McCain's old and he's gonna die.

    Snarky? Aye. But when you get right down to it, that's basically the argument as it's currently set out.

    Yeah. He could die in office. But how do Dems argue that without sounding like they're part of some Dead Pool?


    no one said that (3.50 / 2) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:57:26 PM EST
    and if you keep misrepresenting what is written here, you will no longer be welcome. No one said he is old and going to to die. We're talking about his age and health being relevant and that he could die. You're also blog-clogging. Come back another day.

    My snarky generalization (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:00:38 PM EST
    wasn't aimed at you or posters here. But I have seen that argument elsewhere...and have heard it elsewhere.

    Sorry if you took it as criticism aimed at you. But it wasn't...


    I dont know... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Thanin on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:48:04 PM EST
    if Id want to take on defending the entire narrative currently being pushed by the left blogs, but like Ive said, I do think there are legitimate concerns that can be raised in a pragmatic, realistic way.

    and I agree (none / 0) (#44)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:49:45 PM EST
    it can be done in a way that's a reasonable argument.

    well (none / 0) (#46)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:54:45 PM EST
    I just argued it and people can take it however they like.  It's nothing Obama needs to argue about. It's a consideration that many people are thinking about whether they admit it or not.

    Given McCains recent gaffes, I bet it's on a few more radars than it was previously.


    Focusing Only On Health (none / 0) (#56)
    by daring grace on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 09:30:13 AM EST
    misses the larger point.

    In my lifetime there have been 10 presidents. Two of  them left office before the end of their term and in neither case was it because of a disease. And two others were the subject of assassination attempts, one where the president actually was wounded.

    It's understandable why people might question how healthy (ready) McCain is to serve because, frankly, he does not exude an image of robust wellbeing, age or not.

    But there are other things that put a president out of commission, and, given recent history, it's not that unusual.

    I think the VP choice should be just as prepared at the POTUS in any case. But if you want to argue possibilities--it's even more of a necessity.


    yer right... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:48:26 PM EST
    it was Mondale.

    But... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Thanin on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:45:44 PM EST
    after he was in office, he became incredibly forgetful, to the point of answering almost every question about Iran-Contra with a, what was it, I dont recall?  I think in the end he became more of a cautionary tale than a champion of the elderly.

    The problem with ageism is that, it is a biological fact that there are a lot of people that lose mental capacity the older they get.  Theres no getting around that.  I suppose ageism comes into play when these facts are used in a cruel, mocking fashion.  


    NO2WONDERBOY... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Thanin on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:58:00 AM EST
    What did I say that deserved a troll rating?  I dont think I said anything that deserved a 1.

    GoBama!!!! (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by coigue on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:31:31 PM EST
    We're having a

    "Bake back the White House" bake sale this weekend.


    Well, if Palin caused a "bounce" (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by coigue on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:36:29 PM EST
    it would have been affected by gravity eventually.

    What I think we have here is the end of a bounce, and the beginning of conditions inherently favorable to the Democrats....which do not constitute a "bounce" but rather are a pervasive condition.

    Add this:  McCain, when trying to pretend he is pro-regulation, looks like Dukakis in a tank or Kerry hunting ducks.

    TN has a great early voting deal but it's (none / 0) (#1)
    by Teresa on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:28:08 PM EST
    really hard to vote absentee. You have to be disabled, over 65, or out of the county during the entire early voting period (three weeks).

    During the primary, I had hurt my back and could only stand about five minutes. I had to stand in line to early vote. I made my husband go when I did to hold on to me. I don't know why they make it so hard.

    What happened to McCain? (none / 0) (#9)
    by McCainBush08 on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:39:53 PM EST
    This happened:


    Truth will out.


    OMG!!! (none / 0) (#22)
    by coigue on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:57:34 PM EST
    That is hilarious

    What's "the base"? (none / 0) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:42:34 PM EST
    Certainly the Daily Koses of the world got awful het up about Palin.  And I think some Clinton-supporting women voters got kind of pissed off as well.

    The polls were already moving back before Monday.  The economic crisis (and more importantly, McCain's bumbling) have helped Obama's numbers, but I think only by a couple of points so far.

    Palin is just one in a serious of McCain's gaffes, and a not-unimportant one.  A well-played campaign against her (and this is where I have my differences with the left-o-sphere) will productively diminish McCain's support.

    Sorry Larry (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:44:19 PM EST
    I deleted my comment and will not be commenting in this thread. I will be writing a separate post for tomorrow.

    Man. Sometimes I wish I could do that (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by coigue on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 08:58:44 PM EST

    Delete BTD's comments? (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:06:33 PM EST
    I imagine a lot of people sometimes wish they could do that.

    Banned from his own threads? (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:36:59 PM EST
    Unrelated to Palin but related to polls (none / 0) (#24)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:02:33 PM EST
    It strikes me that Obama might once again be running up against a "map"/Al Gore problem. The SUSA numbers from Florida today for a poll taken this week were somewhat concerning to me in that regard.  

    'It does not have a sampling error.' (none / 0) (#30)
    by Don in Seattle on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:19:11 PM EST
    This part of CNN's description of its "poll of polls" strikes me as possibly technically correct, but very misleading to the average reader. People could easily misinterpret "It does not have a sampling error" to mean that, unlike essentially every other poll, its margin of error was zero.

    I assume that sentence really means only that the margin of error for a poll of polls is not well-defined.

    That quibble aside, this is of course excellent news for the Democratic ticket. Next comes the heavy lifting -- getting Obama from 48% up to, say, 52%. To do that, he'll need to win over some previously unpersuaded centrists and independents (and perhaps some die-hard Hillary Clinton loyalists), which is much more difficult than re-persuading some voters that had supported Obama in the past.

    Thanks, I also was going to point out (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:24:42 PM EST
    how poorly phrased that CNN statement is.  It makes anyone who has taken stats, such as moi, want to hit my head against the keyboard.

    I think Palin is with us for the duration. (none / 0) (#35)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:31:12 PM EST
    Hopefully, it's all downside for the Republicans from here on in.  They don't really get another production opportunity like the convention (unless she aces the debate), they're obviously not willing to let her loose for media interviews, and I think there's probably more stuff to come out -- I'm not sure prolonging Troopergate will have the effect they want.

    On Mail Voting (none / 0) (#36)
    by Joe Gandelman on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:33:35 PM EST
    While surfing the Internet I could not resist another post by Big Tent Democrat, who I had the pleasure of meeting at Stanford a few years ago on a blogging panel. He is one of my FAVORITE bloggers -- on the right, left or center. BTD is RIGHT on mail voting, but for a reason Democrats and Republicans should both consider, apart from vote counting controversies: I am registered to vote by mail and just find it is a lot easier and convenient, particularly because in my non-blogging incarnation I travel a great deal. I also find I can take a lot more TIME in the privacy of my own home researching some things about candidates and issues before I vote by going online. I don't have a big issue with voting machines (we haven't had a big scandal here in San Diego...yet). But I do think I am more careful about how I vote and can look over and triple check my ballot before I send it out. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. And once you register to vote by mail, you get the mail ballots each election, like clockwork.

    Well, we in San Diego do have an (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:35:39 PM EST
    elected person in charge of elections who used to work for Diebold.  But, thanks to Debra Bowen, Secretary of State, San Diego County's Diebold machines aren't being used at present.

    I agree re signing up for mail ballot.  Much more likely to vote and much conducive to a considered decision.

    I also agree BTD is the best of the bloggers.  


    How are we assured that our (none / 0) (#54)
    by andrys on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:47:52 AM EST
    mailed ballots aren't tossed?

      - paranoid in California


    I try not to think about it. (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:57:27 AM EST
    It's the main reason I show up, (none / 0) (#59)
    by andrys on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 10:00:58 PM EST
    because in California we get to see our voting sheet go through the reader.

      And, here, no Diebold (not even under their new name, which I forget)...