THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

DNC After-thoughts & Obama’s head fake …

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on September 1, 2008

In the wake of the Democratic National Convention euphoria, there is much to consider on whether or not the now official Democratic nominee and his running mate received any sort of “bump” in the polls.  Prior to the DNC, conventional pollsters noted a dead heat of about 47/47.  Post-DNC and post-Obama speech, it’s now Obama 49% to McCain’s 48%. What we do know is that the Republican National Convention will be no where near as diverse in culture and color as the DNC.  There was much joking in Denver that Republicans would have to pay Black people to show up.

As far as the polling numbers, this goes back to a prior post about that – we’re wondering if the numbers reflect the surge of younger voter turnout this year, not to mention newly registered voters eager to get in the game.  Take the Real Clear Politics most recent polling average which shows Obama at 48% and McCain at 44%.  That’s a slim, yet healthy spread.  That said, cats like CNN’s Wolf Blitzer need the copy; they need the drama and headline – to make it seem tight, even if it isn’t. On the real, one also has to consider that folks aren’t paying attention to political events during the summer lull; this could have a little to do with it.

There is more wonder out aloud that McCain made a successful crash of Obama’s party, particularly in the wake of that tear-jerking, historic Invesco field speech given on the 35th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  Hence, while many either expected or desired heavy analysis of that moment, the next morning presented McCain’s hastily picked running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

What was that all about?  Obviously, the GOP figures they can tap into disaffected Democratic White female voters that wanted their girl in the White House – but, that’s the point: that’s the girl they wanted, and no other.  The other part of that equation is why not Gov. Palin: she’s a pro-drill domestically state executive who would press strong on energy issues during this time of high gas prices.  Who better than Palin to rally support behind drilling in the Alaskan tundra?  It makes sense – only if people can see beyond the fact that she’s only been Gov. for 2 years, and the Mayor of a town of 8,000 prior to that.

But, some figure that Obama may have played a head fake on McCain.  There was speculation in Denver that the Obama/Clinton beef was merely over-hyped banter on the political talk circuit, buoyed by a few (very few) very loud and vocal Clintonites.  McCain’s camp got caught up in that and figured they’d pick a woman to exacerbate it.  But, women aren’t all that monolithic either, and questions abound as to how wise that really was.

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