An increasing number of Americans have concluded that Senator John McCain´s running mate, Governor Sarah Palin is not knowledgeable enough nor qualified to be a US vice president and she has continued to bring down the GOP´s effort over the final weeks and days of the campaign.
This has once again been confirmed by the latest opinion poll of CBS and the New York Times.
Based on this latest poll, 59 percent of voters surveyed have said Ms. Palin was not even remotely qualified or capable of being the President of the United States if something were to happen to a sitting President McCain. This is a 9% increase since a poll taken on October 1st.
The person that saved McCain´s "bacon" at the Republican Convention, and that put his campaign in the lead, just prior to the financial debacle of the mortgage bankers and Wall Street, is now back to an even worse position than where they were prior to their convention.
As of today, nearly 1/3rd of the polled voters stated that for the first time, the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor in their determination of who they would vote for next Tuesday. Senator Barack Obama was by far the favorite for those that felt that Governor Palin was way out of her league as the GOP candidate for vice president.
Some of the comments about Governor Palin during a number of recent polls have been very telling with regards to how Ms. Palin is negatively regarded by many potential voters from both parties.
Some of those comments included:
>>> "Palin´s pitiful performance on even her staged ´softball interviews´ was embarrassing to all Americans. Apparently, John McCain, for his choice for a VP candidate, once again went to the craps table and threw the dice for the big one, just based on his gut. Is that how he would act when making his decisions as an American president?"And just look at Joe. He doesn´t even have a license or a certificate as a real plumber. He did not have any money, and he was not really trying to buy the company he was working for, as he had said he was. He even still owes back taxes to the state.
>>> "It´s one thing to make an occasional ´slip-of-the-tongue´, but for Sarah Palin to ´blow-it´ time after time and still be running is totally bizarre.
>>> "This woman calls Obama a "socialist", while she is the one that took the money from the oil companies and then divided it amongst the citizens of Alaska. That´s much more "socialistic" than Obama´s plan to cut the tax on wealthy people and to give the middle class a tax break."
>>> "If the governor is so capable and qualified as is stated by Senator McCain, why can´t reporters talk to her without his presences or ask her questions like any other candidate. She´s being programmed, scheduled and protected all the way to election day. Now just why is that?"
>>> "Does Sarah Palin have any answers beyond repeating the memorized Republican talking points? She really does sound like the bimbo teen beauty contestant that was on YouTube some months ago."
>>> "It is frightening to think that she could be in the #2 position behind a 72 year old cancer survivor. What was McCain thinking?"
>>> "I can see why a wealthy Republican Senator might pick someone with a background like Governor Palin. She came from a small Alaskan town and worked herself up to being the state's governor. Unfortunately, she´s not qualified to run the county, and then they went out and bought over $100,000 worth of clothes and jewelry which took away her ´I´m just an ordinary American woman´ status. Now how stupid is that?"
>>> "My God, first it´s a ditz like Sarah Palin, then we´re given ´Joe-the-Plumber´. Fortunately the election is next week.
Now Joe´s gone out and gotten a real publicist/PR representative, he´s looking for a book deal and he also wants to do a country and western album. On top of it all, any real ´Joe-the-Plumber´ would do much better under the Obama´s tax plan than the McCain plan. You can´t make-up stuff like this."
There is now no doubt that the choice of Ms. Palin has hurt McCain´s campaign and his so called "maverick" image. The polled voters have said that after McCain chose Governor Palin, they had much more confidence in Barack Obama to pick qualified people for his administration than they did in John McCain.
The following are the conclusions according to the New York Times/CBS poll:
>>> Obama is maintaining his lead, with 51 percent of likely voters supporting him and 40 percent supporting McCain in a head-to-head matchup.The survey found that opinions of Obama and McCain had hardened considerably, as 9 out of 10 voters who said they had settled on a candidate said their minds were made up, and a growing number of them called it "extremely important" that their candidate win the election.
>>> Some perceptions of race are changing, with a marked increase in the number of people who say they believe that white and black people have an equal chance of getting ahead in America today.
>>> Eighty-nine percent of people view the economy negatively, and 85 percent think the country is on the wrong track.
>>> Obama continues to have a significant advantage on key issues like the economy, health care and the war in Iraq.
Roughly half of each candidate´s supporters said they were "scared" of what the other candidate would do if elected. Just 4 percent of voters were undecided, and when they were pressed to say whom they leaned toward, the shape of the race remained essentially the same.
Bolstered by the fiscal crisis and deep concerns about the direction of the country, Obama has seemed to solidify the support he has gained in recent months.
When likely voters were asked whom they would vote for in an expanded field that included several third-party candidates, Obama got the support of 52 percent of them, McCain 39 percent, Bob Barr 1 percent, and Ralph Nader 2 percent.
The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Saturday through Wednesday with 1,439 adults nationwide, including 1,308 registered voters. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
The poll was conducted as a wide range of state polls have shown Obama, of Illinois, ahead or tied in several crucial contested states, including some traditionally Republican states that McCain, of Arizona, must carry to win the election.
With just days until Americans choose a new president, the survey found them deeply uneasy about the state of their country. Eight-five percent of respondents said the country was pretty seriously off on the wrong track, near the record high recorded earlier this month. A majority said the United States should have stayed out of Iraq. And President Bush´s approval rating remains at 22 percent, tied for the lowest presidential approval rating on record (which was President Harry S. Truman´s rating, recorded by the Gallup Poll in 1952).
McCain´s renewed efforts to cast himself as the candidate of change have apparently faltered. Sixty-four percent of voters polled said Obama would bring about real change if elected, while only 39 percent said McCain would. And despite McCain´s increased efforts to distance himself from President Bush, a majority still said he would generally continue Bush´s policies.
Dixie Cromwell, a 36-year-old cosmetologist from Shelby, N.C., who is a Republican, said in a follow-up interview that she had already voted for Mr. Obama.
"I generally vote Republican, but this year I voted Democrat," she said. "I just don´t feel we can go through any more of the same old thing that we´ve been going through with the Republican Party."
Obama´s policies were seen as much more likely to improve the economy, provide health insurance to more people, and scale back military involvement in Iraq than McCain´s were. But McCain enjoyed an advantage when it came to questions about which candidate would make a better commander in chief: 47 percent of voters said McCain was very likely to be an effective commander in chief, compared with 33 percent who said Obama would be.
While a majority viewed Governor Palin as unqualified for the vice presidency, roughly three-quarters of voters saw Obama´s running mate, Senator Joseph R. Biden of Delaware, as qualified for the job.
The increase in the number of voters who said Palin was not prepared was driven almost entirely by Republicans and independents.
Over all, views of Governor Palin were apparently shaped more by ideology and party than by gender. Palin was viewed as unprepared for the job by about 6 in 10 men and women alike. But 8 in 10 Democrats viewed her as unprepared, as well as more than 6 in 10 independents and 3 in 10 Republicans.
Saturday, November 01, 2008