Gallup Asks About Palin. 2 Out of 10 Republicans Need to Detox.

23 11 2008

gallup_palin

It’s a lazy, slow news day here on the Last Frontier.   I did, however, find some interesting Gallup poll numbers which are shown above.

That’s right.  When Republicans contemplate the woman who has the highest negatives of any prominent member of their party, the one who lost the election for John McCain, and the one who finds new and innovative ways to push the limits of embarrassing behavior on an almost daily basis, what do they think?  Almost 8 out of 10 of them think to themselves, “Why THAT’s the gal for me!”   I can’t help but think that the other 2 out of 10, those I like to refer to as the “sane” Republicans, have to be doing some major soul searching about now.

I picture them all stricken, walking out of their houses in the morning, getting in their cars and driving for a long time to somewhere out in the desert.  There, they fast and drink only spring water for two days, as they cleanse themselves of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.  After much burning of sage and other mysterious detoxifying rituals, they emerge from their vision quest with the solemn understanding that their party has abandoned them, and they are faced with the realization that in order to achieve inner and outer harmony, they must become Independents or Democrats, or perhaps for the adventurous few, Whigs.   And with a sad, nostalgic and disbelieving look, they take one final glance back at the 8 out of 10, and leave them to collapse under the weight of their own delusion.

But that’s just me.





Ted Stevens Numbers Slide After Conviction

30 10 2008

The Ted Stevens/Mark Begich Senate race in Alaska was a toss-up before the jury came back with the verdict of guilty on all seven felony counts for failure to disclose gifts and services totaling more than $250,000.

And, despite the amped up, frenzied Stevens supporters who crowded into an airplane hangar for Stevens’ Welcome Home rally last night, the scale has started to tip decidedly for Democratic challenger Mark Begich.  It’s a toss-up no more.  It isn’t over yet, but Uncle Ted’s chances are looking pretty slim.

Rasmussen released the following numbers, taken the day after Stevens’ conviction.
Begich (D) – 52%
Stevens (R) – 44%
Bird (AIP) – 3%
Undecided – 2%

Only 74% of Republicans say they will vote for the nominee of their party while 21% of GOP voters will cast their ballot for Begich, the mayor of Anchorage.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of Alaska voters say Stevens should resign while 39% disagree. Republican leaders including John McCain, his running mate Sarah Palin, the current governor of Alaska, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have all called upon Stevens to step down.

Stevens is now viewed favorably by 43% of Alaska voters, down from 54% before the trial began. Still, even after the guilty verdict, 52% of voters say Stevens is about as ethical as most politicians. Fifteen percent (15%) say Stevens is more ethical than most of his peers while 31% say he is less ethical. These reactions say as much about perceptions of politicians as they do about Stevens.

This must explain why 51% of Alaska voters say that Sarah Palin is more ethical than most politicians.

Palin earns good or excellent reviews as governor from 61% of voters in her home state, virtually unchanged from polling last month. Eighty-five percent (85%) of Republicans and 59% of unaffiliated voters give Palin positive marks.

Overall, just 22% rate her job performance as poor, a figure that includes 44% of Democrats.

If this makes you want to bang your head on the desk….stop. Remember that Sarah Palin’s approval rating was hovering around 90% at one point. So, step back, and think of how it would look on a graph. Time on the X-axis, and favorability ratings on the Y-axis. After the third time I banged my head on the desk, a vision of this graph popped in to my mind, and I stopped. Once the fun of having a local politician on the national stage is over, and she gets back home, the numbers will continue to slide. Stay tuned.

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The Palin Talking Point Generator.

24 10 2008
The Palin Talking Point Machine

Behold, The Palin Talking Point Generator!

At the Alaska State Fair, and other craft shows around town, I’ve seen a little device that makes me smile and think, “Only in Alaska.”  It’s the carved wooden likeness of a moose.  The hollow moose body can be filled with jelly beans.  The tail, which is moveable, is used as a lever, which, when operated, dispenses a jelly bean “moose nugget” in the palm of your hand.  It’s beginning to remind me of the Palin campaign.

Their strategy has become obvious.  Crank out a steady stream of half-truths, talking points, wedge issues, folksy filler words, justifications and shiny, sweet flat-out lies.  Do this fast enough, and by the time anyone takes the time to review, research, analyze, debunk, refute, and thoughtfully respond, you’re already five piles of moose nuggets ahead of them.

Picture a five year old who gets a hold of the moose nugget generator, pumping that tail up and down as fast as his little hand can go, watching that big sticky pile accumulate in his hand.  Yum.

It’s hard to know where to start, but let’s start with the interview she did with the Chicago Tribune today.  And which nugget?  Let’s try that nice shiny green one.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insisted in an interview with the Tribune on Thursday that she did not accept $150,000 worth of designer clothes from the Republican Party and “that is not who we are.” “That whole thing is just, bad!” she said. “Oh, if people only knew how frugal we are.”

Oh, dear.  It sounds like she’s been very misunderstood indeed.  People are so petty!  But, wait a minute….hasn’t she…been..wearing those clothes?  And….that’s the dollar amount that the RNC reported in their own disclosure forms.   If you pay nothing, and get $150,000 in clothing, hair styling and makeup, that sounds pretty frugal to me.  I just don’t get it. She’s not making any sense…WAIT!  Another jelly bean!  Look, it’s pink!

“I think Hillary Clinton was held to a different standard in her primary race,” Palin said. “Do you remember the conversations that took place about her, say superficial things that they don’t talk about with men, her wardrobe and her hairstyles, all of that? That’s a bit of that double standard.”

Hillary Clinton?  Double standard?  Wait a minute.  There may be something to that, but I don’t think Hillary Clinton spent $150,000 of the DNC’s money to buy a new wardrobe.  Her Senate wardrobe was just fine, just like…um….a Governor’s wardrobe should be, right?  And what about John Edwards and that $400 hair cut?  The Republicans had a field day over that one!   Oh….look!  A yellow one!

“I’m not going to complain about it, I’m not going to whine about it, I’m going to plow through that, because we are embarking on something greater than that, than allowing that double standard to adversely affect us,” she said.

We know American’s do NOT like complainers and whiners, that’s for sure.  That’s pretty much the kiss of death for a politician.  So it’s good she’s not complaining, except for saying it’s unfair, and sexist, and there’s a double standard, and people don’t understand the real her, and it’s painful because….heeeeeyy.  Come to think of it, that actually kind of sounds like complaining and whining to me!  That’s pretty hypocritic…..Oooo!  Another one!  It’s red!

But polls suggest that McCain is in trouble, partly because of Palin, who has been criticized as lacking the experience to become president. This week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll suggested more people now think that Palin is hurting McCain’s chances of becoming president than President George W. Bush, whose national approval ratings are in the 20s.

Palin disputed such conclusions.

“I think that those reporters asking those questions should come to some of our rallies and ask some of those in the crowd why it is they are enthused,” she said, adding that the crowds see her as representing “hardworking, everyday American families.”

But the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll isn’t actually made up of questions asked by reporters.  It’s questions asked by pollsters, and it’s done in a pretty scientific sort of way.  I don’t think it would really be appropriate to send pollsters to your rallies to ask them why they are there.  You see, that wouldn’t really be impartial, or be a representative sample of the way the country is thinking, which is why we actually have polls.  And the voters are made up of people from all over, not just “enthused” McCain-Palin rally-goers… Surely, you can’t possibly think that people will take this seriou….

OK, I need to stop now…my stomach hurts.  I think I’ve overdone it on the moose nugget jelly beans.  Anyone on the other ticket got some Alka-Seltzer?

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Palins National Numbers Soar…Up to 55% from 50% Two Weeks Ago.

21 10 2008

That’s right. In a national NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll 55% of Americans now feel that Sarah Palin is unqualified to be President, up from 50% two weeks ago. As we all know, breaking that 50% mark is pretty convincing. I think that we can now safely say, that according to Americans, Sarah Palin is not qualified.

We’ve been spreading the news since the morning of August 29, and it seems that it only took 54 days to convince the majority of the country. Not bad.

The one candidate whose popularity has fallen is Gov. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee. Voters are less likely to see her in a positive light, and much more likely to report negative feelings.

Fifty-five percent of voters say Gov. Palin isn’t qualified to be president if the need arises, up from 50% two weeks ago. And when given a list of possible concerns about Sen. McCain, voters were by far most likely to say they worry about Gov. Palin’s qualification to be president.

The concern about Gov. Palin may also be reflected in the enthusiasm gap between the candidates, which appeared to be closing after the conventions but has widened again. Four in 10 McCain voters call him the “lesser of two evils”; 14% of Obama voters feel the same way. Twenty-six percent of McCain voters say they are excited about their vote; twice as many Obama voters feel excited.

Some daily tracking polls have found a tighter race between Sens. McCain and Obama. But the Journal’s margin is consistent with most national polls, including one released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, which found a 14-point advantage for Sen. Obama among registered voters.

Other numbers on the rise?

People who think the country is on the wrong track is at a new high of 78%.

People who rated their interest in this election as a 10 on a scale of 1-10 is at a new high of 81%.

There are many more interesting nuggets to be found in the poll data HERE.

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Is Palin an Albatross?

20 09 2008

Is Sarah Palin becoming an albatross around the neck of John McCain? Two weeks ago, the thought that we would be asking this question seemed unlikely at best.  Alaska’s own ‘hockey mom/beauty queen’ governor had become the overnight darling of the political world.  She had everything – spunk, principles, smarts, beauty, ethics, and an attitude that was just plain “maverick”.  Right?

Never mind that the hearts of progressive Alaskans (and even some Republicans) were gripped with an icy fear that made breathing alone difficult, nevermind shouting, “Noooooooo!”  The rest of the world loved Sarah.  Lipstick became an iconic symbol of political girl power. Her recent stint as a small town mayor, and her journalism degree from the University of Idaho showed us that “anyone can be president”. Her eyeglass frames were sold out at retail outlets around the land almost instantly.  Pitbulls gained an unlikely place in our hearts. And all of a sudden John McCain didn’t have to grovel, and offer to bus people in from miles away to make his rallies look not so embarrasingly empty.  It was a Disney movie – Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington, Cinderella and The Mighty Ducks all rolled into one.

But now, it’s the morning after, and America  is starting to have some regrets.  Sarah, it seems, has been our “rebound girl” after our escape from a disastrous and abusive long-term relationship with our soon-to-be ex, Dick Cheney.  Rebound relationships are normal, but no one expects them to last.

What was it?  Shooting wolves from airplanes? The pastor problem? Abuse of power? The embarrasing interview with Charlie Gibson? Charging victims for rape kits? Being for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it? Her far-right stance on reproductive rights? Todd’s membership in a secessionist political party? New Earth evangelism? Stonewalling an ethics investigation? Leaving her small town in debt? Her love of earmarks?  Her hatred of polar bears? Who knows?  It may be a little of all of these things, or for some people, one is enough.  But, we’re starting to realize, in the light of day,  that the beautiful shiny image of Sarah Palin that swept us off our political feet isn’t the whole story.  I wonder sometimes if there isn’t a portrait of a hideous, wrinkled old woman hidden away in a closet of the governor’s mansion in Juneau, and we’re all living some unexplainable Arctic version of Dorian Gray.

For the rest of America in the thralls of Sarah-Mania, Alaskans have been trying to be your sensible friend. “Are you crazy?  This will never work!”  “At the risk of our friendship, I have to tell you she is totally wrong for you!” “Do not, I repeat, do NOT move in with her!” 

During the last few weeks of this ‘discovery period,’ Palin’s positive ratings have steadily and rapidly eroded, and according to the most recent report from the Daily Kos (excellent visual below) she can now actually be considered a ‘drag’ on the ticket.  Not everyone is ‘there’ yet, but the trend is undeniable, and there are still weeks to go before election day.

 

America, on behalf of all Alaskans, and as your sensible friend, I want to thank you for hearing us out.