Sunday, February 27, 2011

Anti-Palin ("Fading Star") MCClatchy Press Ignores Polling History "Carter 65% Reagan 31%"

In an article from the consistently anti-Palin MCClatchy Group of Newspapers the author determined,by reporting on a meeting of 150 Republican activists in South Carolina and taking selective quotes that "Palin's star is fading."

There were selective, unfavorable quotes about other possible GOP 2102 candidates as well but the author chose to headline the article with his impressions-I wonder why?

To emphasis further how Palin is, apparently according to their own pollster on the way out, and with no chance against President Obama, they quote their polling showing, in a head to head match up Obama 56% and Palin 30%. What they don't of course mention is the Democratic Party aligned PPP Poll (on the radical Kos website) from February 16th showing Obama at 52% to Palin at 40%. This was a substantial rise for Palin from 55% to 38% from the same pollster in January.

The PPP and MCClatchy polls, when put into an historical framework prove they mean next to nothing as predictors if we look at examples from actual election years rather than two years out.

In the 1988 campaign, as documented by Goldman and Mathews "Quest For The Presidency 1988" Vice President, as he was then, George H.W. Bush, with all the power of office and as second in command to a hugely popular president, was at the commencement of campaigning in May of that year 16 percentage points behind the challenger Michael Dukakis who was polling (KRC Hotline poll) at 54% compared to Bush at 38%. 

After the Democratic Party held their July convention the Gallup poll result was Dukakis 54% and Bush 37% a seemingly insurmountable 17% lead with only just about four months campaigning time left against a fired up opposition.The result on election day however was Bush 53.4% and Dukakis 45.7 %. A massive turnaround for Bush changing a 17% deficit into a near 8% winning margin. 

Palin, according to PPP has a smaller deficit 12%  than Bush had with the obvious difference being that she has not three months or so to catch up and pass Obama but nearly two years . Given Palin's incredible capacity to recover from the most vicious campaign ever mounted against a candidate, her growth in stature as each month passes, the massive support/structural base in people (including the many candidates she is helping to get elected or re-elected) and money she is building up it would be foolhardy in the extreme to believe she is not capable of achieving that result. 

It is interesting to consider the opinions of  Bush's inner circle, who gave him only 60-40 odds of winning as their private polls showed a deficit of 18% at the commencement of the campaign, and the authors comment that "The press and political industry had already been consigning him to an early (political ) grave".  This of Bush who, with respect is not perceived as the sort of fighter that Palin is by nature, but rather had to be dragooned into mounting an effective campaign by his handlers. 

There is a striking point of similarity between the elder Bush and Palin however which is clear by this comment "To be sure he had values....he could fairly claim to have lived an exemplary life of service to God, country and family and to the ideals of honor, achievement and common decency". As this is a true and valid comment on Palin too there is no reason to doubt that those shared values will enable her to overcome the same electoral challenges-especially given the much longer time frame she has to work in. 

It is instructive also to note that as late as August in the 1948 election Harry Truman was eleven points behind Dewey and ended up winning by 4.5% (49.55/45.07). President Ford was, as late as July 1976 an incredible 33% points behind Jimmy Carter and on election day lost by 2% (50.08% for Carter to 48.02% to Ford) an incredible recovery by Ford which makes Palin's hurdle pale into insignificance. It is more than probable in fact that if Ford had not made such a terrible gaffe about the Soviets influence in Eastern Europe he would have won.

In June 2000 Al Gore was 17 points behind G.W. and even as late as October he was 8 points behind 50/42 but went on to win the popular vote by half a million. But the best example of why the anti-Palin media should be ignored is this Harris/ABC Poll from Election year 1980:


"President   Ca r t e r   so  dominates the American political scene now that his margin 
over Ronald Reagan has risen to an overwhelming 65-31% "  

If Palin wants and receives the nomination the ultimate prize is very much there to be won.

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