Sullivan Has Been Comparing Palin to Eagleton — He May Have a Point But He’s Looking At The Wrong Party
[Posted by WLS]
One of Sullivan’s more crackpot ideas over at The Atlantic are a dozen or more posts on the prospect that Palin will be forced to withdraw from the ticket a la Thomas Eagleton in 1972. Randy-Andy started banging this drum before Palin’s speech — and things changed that day — and before the Obama lead in the polls cratered following the end of the GOP convention showing the power of Palin’s selection. But it’s possible that Randy-Andy may turn out to be correct – except he may be looking at the wrong party.
How long can Obama continue to keep Biden in the VP slot as it becomes more and more apparent that the Palin selection has fundamentally altered the race, and he’s now headed for a 3-5 point defeat rather than the coronation that everyone on the left (and many on the right) had expected?
What would shake up this race some more? How about Biden stepping down and Hillary taking his place? Because it’s with white women that Obama is going to lose this race. In the latest ABC/WaPo poll, Obama’s +8 lead among white women voters going into the conventions has now become a -12 deficit after the conventions. The great “Hillary myth” of the press is that women voters who supported Hillary did so only because they agreed with all her views across the policy spectrum, including views on subjects like abortion and equal pay. The idea was that “Hillary voters” would not jump to McCain simply because he chose Palin, especially given how “extreme” Palin was on social issues. Well, chalk that one up as one more example of bogus “conventional wisdom.”
I suspect many women supported Hillary because of what her campaign represented, not simply because of what her policy positions were. No question that the bulk of her supporters were die-hard liberals who immediately switched to Obama, but all 18 million??? No way. Before McCain selected Palin we knew from polling that 25% of Hillary voters were saying they would vote for McCain. Was this supposed to be only the men who supported her?
Lets look at the simple arithmetic of this issue:
In 2004, Kerry came out of the conventions trailing Bush among women 48-43. By mid-October, he had reversed that standing and led Bush among women by 50-40 according to this NYT story.
CNN exit polling showed that on election day, Kerry beat Bush among women by a vote of only 51-48.
There were 121 million votes cast in 2004, with 53% from women — or about 63 million votes. But 41% of all votes were from white women — or about 49.5 million.
If you move the percentage of white women voting for McCain from -8 to +12 (and using the 2004 vote totals as a reference point), that 20 point shift is nearly 10 million votes.
Did Palin bring McCain all 10 million votes??
No – at least not yet. But if this new narrative of the race takes root with white women, i.e., the suburban and small town soccer moms, Obama is dead meat.
What is the one thing he could do to alter this fundamental change? Dump the dull and uninspiring old white male Biden, and put Hillary on the ticket.