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Palin's appeal extends beyond party's base
Financial Times ^ | September 11, 2008 | by Andrew Ward

Posted on 09/10/2008 8:18:14 PM PDT by library user

People started queuing before 7am for a front row spot at John McCain's campaign rally in Lebanon, Ohio, this week.

By the time the senator appeared with Sarah Palin, his running mate, three hours later, more than 5,000 people had crammed into the town centre, with hundreds more locked outside the security cordon.

Similar scenes have greeted the Republican presidential ticket at events across the country this week, marking the first time that Mr McCain has rivalled Barack Obama for pulling power.

Scanning the crowd in Lebanon, a commuter town of 17,000 people outside Cincinnati, the catalyst for surging Republican enthusiasm was obvious.

Home-made placards emblazoned with slogans such as "Working Moms for Palin" outnumbered those referring to Mr McCain, and chants of "Sarah, Sarah" filled the air.

"I was always going to vote McCain, but I wasn't looking forward to it," said Dixie Bruggeman, a retired car plant worker, wearing a Stars and Stripes blouse. "When I heard about Sarah Palin, I got excited about the election for the first time and wrote a $100 cheque to the GOP [Republican party]."

Almost every Republican questioned gave a similar account of the electrifying effect that Mr McCain's choice for vice-president had on their attitude to November's poll.

It was conservative strongholds such as Lebanon that helped deliver George W. Bush the wafer-thin victory in Ohio that kept him in the White House four years ago. The state looks set to play a pivotal role again this year and Mr McCain is relying on those same rural and suburban districts to offset Mr Obama's strength in urban and industrialised areas.

A few months ago, Lebanon and surrounding Warren County were popular destinations for reporters researching stories about how Mr McCain was struggling to rally a demoralised and fractured conservative base. But Mary Jo Kubicki, a volunteer at the Republican party headquarters in Lebanon, says that story has now reversed. "The phone hasn't stopped ringing since Palin was picked," she says. "We've had a rush of volunteers and we're out of McCain yard signs."

Part of the reason Ms Palin stirs such passion lies in her conservative record on touchstone issues such as abortion and taxes, helping reassure Republicans who doubt Mr McCain's commitment to such causes.

Plenty of other potential running mates, however, could have brought similar conservative credentials without generating nearly as much excitement. What sets Mrs Palin apart is a background and personality that voters have instantly identified with, even though her life as governor of Alaska and mother-of-five is anything but ordinary.

"She validates me and my lifestyle," said Teri Norris, a mother of three, holding her four year-old daughter and a bag of cookies at the Lebanon rally.

Ms Palin was chosen as much to help Mr McCain appeal to women and blue-collar independent voters as she was to shore up the -conservative base, and polls suggest the strategy is working.

Before the party conventions, an ABC/Washington Post poll showed Mr Obama with a 50-42 per cent lead among white women. This week, the same poll found white women favouring Mr McCain by 53-41 per cent - a 10-point swing.

Support for Mr McCain among independents, meanwhile, has bounced from 40 per cent before the conventions to 52 per cent this week, according to Gallup - the first time he has opened a clear lead over Mr Obama among this critical group.

Increased backing from women and independents is at the heart of Mr McCain's broader bounce in the polls since the Republican convention, with surveys giving him an average two-point cushion over Mr Obama.

Democrats have tried to stem Republican gains among women - and particularly among Hillary Clinton's former supporters - by highlighting Ms Palin's staunch opposition to abortion, which cuts against feminist orthodoxy.

But Joyce Bursten, a McCain supporter, dismissed the idea that abortion was a "make or break issue" for most women.

"I'm pro-choice but I respect the pro-life point of view," she said. "I'm not going to let that one issue cloud everything else."

Ms Palin's stump speech in Lebanon was mostly recycled punch lines from her address to the Republican convention last week, and the delivery was somewhat robotic. But she could have read from the Cincinnati phone directory and the crowd would still have given her a rapturous reception.

"This is what America is all about," she said, speaking from a stage opposite flat-roofed, red-brick buildings of the kind found along small-town main streets across the US. "We're going to Washington and we're going to shake things up."


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: appeal; base; election; elections; mccainpalin; palin; palinping; republicans

1 posted on 09/10/2008 8:18:14 PM PDT by library user
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To: library user

We love it !


2 posted on 09/10/2008 8:23:08 PM PDT by billmor (Friday:Red Shirt Day- silent no more..,McCain and Palin-the right team for '08)
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To: library user

LOL...wonder if Eleanor Clift’s “newsroom” is still laughing.


3 posted on 09/10/2008 8:23:10 PM PDT by shteebo
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To: library user
Palin's appeal extends beyond party's base

Andrew Ward is a bloomin' genius.

4 posted on 09/10/2008 8:24:31 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: library user
I just looked at another thread where Alaskans submit photos of themselves with Sarahcuda to a newspaper up there. What's happening here, Mr Jones, is that Sarah Palin, whether by design or accident, has defined herself, or has been defined by circumstances, whichever, before the MSM and those great underrated definers themselves, the US Left, managed to define her for us the way they had done with so many others starting with Dan Quayle, Gerald Ford, certainly Dubya, even Ronald Reagan to some extent. In the entertainment area, Bob Dylan, perhaps Elvis, defined themselves before the media could distort them.

And this is what drives these moonbats nutty today. They keep trying and trying, digging dirt (30 RAT lawyers sent to Alaska!) and nothing is working. Pathetic, transparent efforts to redefine Sarah Palin, as some kind of a fascist Church Lady. Too late, losers!

5 posted on 09/10/2008 8:28:45 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Are you ready to pray for Teddy?)
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To: library user
An estimated 15,000 in the public square of Lebannon, Ohio, for McCain/Palin - while Obama is increasingly restricting his gatherings to inside venues where he can count on having enough people.

Obama is also now using tele-prompters even in the small settings - his spontaneous ruminations have been abysmal.

6 posted on 09/10/2008 8:28:57 PM PDT by mtntop3
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To: Rudder

Great article, the AP is so biased...(imagine that), nice to read something somewhat fair.


7 posted on 09/10/2008 8:34:46 PM PDT by Lisa_from Buckeye Country ("Al I ever really needed to know I learned on the basketball court."...Sarah and my daughter)
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To: library user
"She validates me and my lifestyle," said Teri Norris, a mother of three, holding her four year-old daughter and a bag of cookies at the Lebanon rally.

Dims just dont get it at all.

8 posted on 09/10/2008 8:36:00 PM PDT by Snurple (VEGETARIAN, OLD INDIAN WORD FOR BAD HUNTER.)
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To: library user
Before the party conventions, an ABC/Washington Post poll showed Mr Obama with a 50-42 per cent lead among white women. This week, the same poll found white women favouring Mr McCain by 53-41 per cent - a 10-point swing.

Hmmm. Is this that new MSM math they're using here?

9 posted on 09/10/2008 8:36:32 PM PDT by comebacknewt
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Palin giving live speech on FNC, at Fairbanks


10 posted on 09/10/2008 8:38:15 PM PDT by eyedigress
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To: comebacknewt
Is this that new MSM math they're using here?

I thought the same thing - it looks like 11 points to me, but then I learned math in the 50s, before the post-modernism math where numbers mean any darn thing you want.

11 posted on 09/10/2008 8:41:43 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: library user
...marking the first time that Mr McCain has rivalled Barack Obama for pulling power

And they didn't need a free rock concert to start things off.

12 posted on 09/10/2008 8:46:41 PM PDT by reformed_dem (I'm voting for Sarah and her running mate.)
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To: mtntop3
Yes, his “pig in lipstick” comment certainly adds credence to the argument that he does not think well “on his feet”.

I don't care what Shepherd Smith or any of the other media talking heads say, I taught English for 30 years and Obama either made the “pig” comment with every bad intention OR he again demonstrated his famously poor judgment!

13 posted on 09/10/2008 8:52:06 PM PDT by singfreedom (Obama's solution to the energy crisis: check the air in your tires! Why didn't we think of that?)
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To: hsalaw; comebacknewt

They expressed the swing in terms of percentage points.

Another way to look at it — McCain’s share of women’s votes increased by 26%.


14 posted on 09/10/2008 8:55:21 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: comebacknewt

It’s really a 20-point swing, isn’t it?


15 posted on 09/10/2008 8:55:41 PM PDT by library user
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To: Lisa_from Buckeye Country
...nice to read something somewhat fair.

Yep, fair and rare.

Go Bucks!

16 posted on 09/10/2008 9:02:28 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: library user

It should be no surprise to true conservatives that a solid conservative would bring more people in than a wishy-washy liberal or wannabe moderate. Reagan has already demonstrated that a person with values and convictions and real ability, not a facade of talent(like Obama), is more attractive to everybody. I think most politicians have it in their heads that symbolism wins over substance, but the true conservative knows better by experience.


17 posted on 09/10/2008 9:04:21 PM PDT by Force of Truth (Legalize the Constitution::::The power to tax is the power to kill.)
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To: library user

Among white women, McCain went from 42% to 53%, an 11 point swing, and Obama went down from 50% to 41%, a 9 point swing there..But among Independents he went from 40% to 52%...

Now if Independents are roughly one-third of American voters(* see URL) and women are more than one-half of voters (** see URL), then in numerical terms, McCain has gained Millions of voters thanks to Sarah Palin.

Just hope they can swing some more voters their way..

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_(voter)

** http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/2933/Political-Participation-VOTER-REGISTRATION.html


18 posted on 09/10/2008 9:32:47 PM PDT by billmor (Friday:Red Shirt Day- silent no more..,McCain and Palin-the right team for '08)
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To: library user

Fixed it.

19 posted on 09/10/2008 9:37:38 PM PDT by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: library user
"Bush's wafer thin win in Ohio"

If winning by about one hundred thousand votes is considered wafer thin, I wonder what a landslide would be?

20 posted on 09/11/2008 3:44:18 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: library user
"I'm pro-choice but I respect the pro-life point of view," she said. "I'm not going to let that one issue cloud everything else."

This is big. This tells me that pro-choice women aren't really responding like they used to the NOW/NARAL scare tactics, who have only gotten where they are because they have been very successful in spreading the asinine view that repealing Roe v. Wade makes abortion illegal.

I see huge potential here for pro-lifers to make some inroads here against Roe once people realize that all that its repeal does is throw the issue back to the states.

21 posted on 09/11/2008 6:21:10 AM PDT by Claud
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