Patterico's Pontifications

10/23/2008

Palin the Politician

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sarah Palin campaigned today in Pennsylvania where she emulated Beaver Falls native Joe Namath by guaranteeing a come-from-behind win in the Keystone State. She also compared the Ohio and Pennsylvania values of Joe the Plumber and Joe the Quarterback with Barack the Wealth-Spreader:

“At the western Pennsylvania rally, Palin continued the Republican ticket’s use of Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher’s encounter with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., to attempt to paint the Democratic presidential nominee’s tax policies as a radical plan to redistribute wealth. A few supporters in the crowd shouted “socialism” during Palin’s remarks, while another man yelled out “Obama’s a socialist!” above the crowd.

“He’s hiding his real agenda of redistributing your hard-earned money,” Palin said to boos. “So I know that we have other Joe the Plumbers in the house, in this audience today, and it doesn’t sound like many of you are gonna be supporting ‘Barack the Wealth-Spreader’ in this election.”

Palin is a fascinating politician. As Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels puts it, Palin is powerful, disciplined, gracious, has a good sense of humor, and “people connect to her.”

— DRJ

Battleground Poll Is An Accurate Reflection of Where This Race Has Been, Where It Is, and Where It Is Headed

Filed under: 2008 Election — WLS @ 4:45 pm

[Posted by WLS Shipwrecked (yeah, that’s new]

I’ve posted here before that, in my opinion, the Battleground Poll done jointly by Ed Goeas and Celinda Lake is the most unbiased of all the national polls — given that it isn’t sponsored by a media organization with questionable editorial bias, and because both a GOP pollster and a DNC pollster collaborate on it, so you expect internal biases in the poll to be minimized.

Every day they publish a “snapshot” of their “Aided” ballot question, where the respondents are given the names of the candidates before being asked who they intend to vote for. This is a “tracking” poll, which averages the responses over the three previous days. Today this tracking poll stands at 49-45, with Obama in the lead. Obama has been between 48-50% in this poll for 7 days, while McCain has been between 44-47%.

But each week the Battleground Poll also puts out a much longer poll that covers a lot of internal issues, such as favorables/unfavorables, and which candidate is favored on a series of issues.

Also in this weekly release is what is called the “Unaided” ballot question, where the respondents are asked for whom they intend to vote for President without being given the candidates’ names.

On the “Unaided” ballot, Obama has only a 2 point lead — 44-42, with 13% undecided.

The aided ballot question has 5% undecided, while the unaided ballot question has 13% undecided. That’s a pretty soft 8% who don’t know the candidates’ names well enough two weeks before the election to give an answer unprompted. In other words, 5% of Obama’s 49% aren’t solid enough to have named him without being prompted to do so. That’s slightly more than 1 in 10 Obama voters.

More significantly, the internals in this poll show some significant movement over the last 2 weeks — ever since McCain was knocked off message by the financial crisis.

Two weeks ago McCain’s favorables were at 52% — having fallen from 58% in September — and his unfavorables were up to their highest point at 44%. Today his favorables are back to 54%, and his unfavorables are down to 42%. More movement in these numbers is necessary, but they are going in the right direction for now.

Obama, on the other hand, has seen the opposite happen in the last two weeks. His favorables peaked at the time of the financial crisis, reaching 62%, with unfavorables dropping to 35%. Now he’s down to 58% favorable, and up to 39% unfavorable. That’s a four-point loss for him on both.

Finally, Obama has seen a significant shift against him on the issues of “Keeping American Prosperous” and “Creating Jobs.”

Two weeks ago Obama led McCain 49-36 on keeping America prosperous.

Today that lead is only 45-39. That’s a four-point shift away from Obama.

Two weeks ago Obama led McCain 55-32 on creating jobs.

Today that lead is 51-36 — again, a four-point shift away from Obama.

There is no other real explanation for this than the “Joe The Plumber” imbroglio, and the blowback against the media after it attacked him for simply asking a question.

Obama generally lost ground to Hillary as election day drew near in most of their primary contests (not caucuses where organization is key). He’s losing ground to McCain right now, and McCain has a message that he is exploiting every day.

It’s going to be an interesting 12 days.

Re: the handle change, I was given some advice from an internet-savvy friend who said that the use of a blog identity is necessary to not be overlooked or forgotten.  “Shipwrecked” is something that I’ve used on other sites as an Internet moniker, and I’m going to use it here from now on. For the time being I’m going to put “WLS” in front of it so there is no confusion.

— WLS Shipwrecked

McCain Supporter Attacked in Pittsburgh (Updated x3: A Hoax)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Pittsburgh-area press report a 20-year-old Texas woman working at a campaign call center was robbed at knife-point as she got money at an ATM last night in Pittsburgh Bloomfield. She claimed that, after seeing a McCain bumper sticker on her car, the robber beat her and used his knife to mark[ed] a B on her face.

Gateway Pundit has a photo of the victim and a round-up of local news links.

EDIT: Hot Air has continuing updates and Phyllis Chesler has more, including an attack on an Obama supporter.

UPDATE 1: TMZ reports that Pittsburgh law enforcement expressed skepticism about the validity of this incident and Michelle Malkin agrees. Meanwhile, Ace thinks the position of the B isn’t reason enough to doubt this story.

UPDATE 2 – An update from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

“Update VII: I spoke with two executives at the College Republicans on the record about this story. Charlie Smith, the National Chair, and Ethan Eilon, the Executive Director, both say the photo is legitimate and that it came from [*name redacted by DRJ*], the victim in this case. The attack began at 8:50 pm ET and [**] called the police at 9:30 PM ET. Initially, she was robbed, ran away after the robbery, and the robber followed her to her car. At that point, he became enraged at the bumper sticker and began beating her and scratched the ‘B’ into her face. [**] went to the hospital early this morning after initially refusing medical attention last night, and had an MRI and/or a CAT scan. Doctors believe her cheek will heal fully.

Eilon spoke with her personally today about the incident and confirmed the above with me. He first met [**] in June, when she came to DC for training with the College Republicans. She works for them as a contract employee. She does not work for the McCain campaign. Both Eilon and Smith expressed revulsion over an attack on a young woman just getting involved in politics, but they consider this the act of a lone lunatic.

I’m not going to blame people for keeping a healthy skepticism on this case, but so far, the two media reports appear to check out.”

UPDATE 3: KDKA reports the campaign worker has recanted and her injuries were self-inflicted. What a foolish thing to do.

— DRJ

Duke Accuser Update

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 10:52 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The accuser in the Duke University lacrosse case that led to the downfall of DA Mike Nifong has published a book in which she maintains she was assaulted:

“Crystal Mangum, who appeared publicly Thursday for the first time since making the allegations more than two years ago, says in her forthcoming book she is not “looking forward to opening old wounds” but that she had to defend herself.

“Even as I try to move on with my life, I still find it necessary to take one more stand and fight,” she writes in the book, “The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story.”

“I want to assert, without equivocation, that I was assaulted. Make of that what you will. You will decide what that means to you because the state of North Carolina saw fit not to look at all that happened the night I became infamous.
***
Mangum declined to answer specific questions about the details of the case on Thursday, and the publisher of the book said repeatedly “the case is closed” and she accepts the conclusions of state prosecutors.

“At this point, it doesn’t really matter,” she said Thursday. “What matters is for people to know my account of what happened and for all of us to learn from it.”

The three Duke lacrosse players — Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans — filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Nifong, the city of Durham, police investigators and others but they apparently did not sue Mangum. They may reconsider that decision now.

— DRJ

Early Voting Trends Not Looking Good for McCain

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:37 am

I say this not to demoralize you, but hopefully to inspire you to action.

Things are not looking good for McCain.

Debate has flowed back and forth about whether the polls are trustworthy. Some say Big Media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) are pushing the theory that it’s all a done deal, as part of a strategy to demoralize conservatives and suppress turnout.

But I say: don’t look at the polls. Look at the voting.

People are already voting across the country, and early indications are that turnout is tremendously high for Democrats:

Democrats are voting early in greater numbers than their Republican counterparts in several closely contested states, reversing a pattern that favored the GOP in past elections.

The trend is evident in Ohio, North Carolina and Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico, state and county figures show. In Georgia, blacks are voting in greater numbers than they did in 2004.

You can keep up with statistics on the early vote here. This is all consistent with earlier reports of huge voter registration among Democrats. Also, Obama has been setting fund-raising records, and the same people who donated are working to get out the vote.

Don’t blame me for injecting a shot of realism here. You can’t fight the disease until you’ve diagnosed it, and you don’t know how hard to fight until you’ve been told how bad it is.

So now you know: it’s bad. We’re going to have to fight really, really hard.

If You Can See This . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:15 am

. . . then you’re probably using the Patterico (Temporary bookmark) and already know that I’m having issues with my domain registrar.

I don’t want to talk about the details right now. For now, I’ll just assume that this is merely another in a long line of missteps on their part, and that this will all be taken care of by midday today, as they assured me last night.

P.S. I’m still hearing from a lot of people who can’t get through to the site. Please spread the word about the Patterico (Temporary bookmark).


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