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Survey Says… Biden Wipes Floor with Palin

October 2, 2008 · Leave a Comment

The much anticipated debate recently ended.  Expectations for Palin were so low that the only way she could have surprised on the downside would have been to sing “Bomb bomb Iran” to an open microphone to the tune of Ba-ba-bra-an like McCain did previously.  There was no crash and burn.  In the largely scripted “debate” there was no atrocious gaffe – by either side.

Biden clearly had more to lose in this debate than Palin.  Would he be condescending?  Would he come off as scolding?  Would he use his experience as a bludgeon?  Would he make some ridiculous statement (FDR reassuring the nation on TV – which wasn’t invented – as President – before he was elected – about the Depression?).

Good for Joe, he was disciplined, he didn’t wander too much, and above all, he demonstrated a familiarity with specific facts, which is something that Palin has struggled with enormously.  So Joe avoided the downsides and in fact, I think, gained significant ground.

On all counts, you have to say that Biden won.  While Palin probably exceeded expectation by more than Biden, that’s only because people were expecting Palin to trip on her way to the stage and then a utter incomprehensible puree of talking points.  And she only half did that, so she exceeded expectation.

But according to all polls I’ve seen, Biden won the debate (51% to 38%), and improved his favorables by 10 points (42% to 53%).  Here are some specifics:

CNN’s insta-poll: Biden, 51 to 36.

CBS survey of uncommitted: Biden, 46 to 21.

So I have to give this to Biden by a wide margin.  I’m sure the Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief that she didn’t do something totally YouTube worthy.  But neither did she come off as someone that any thinking person could – outside the glare of the television camera and without the benefit of RNC provided talking points – think of as President and Commander In Chief without a serious shudder racking their very being.

Palin only proved that, contrary to her performance in the Couric interviews, she could speak a form of English, even if it’s delivered in that annoying nasal Fargo accent with an “also” thrown in with annoying frequency, and especially at the end of sentences, also.

Here are some actual quotes from the debate:

“And I’ve joined this team that is a team of mavericks with John McCain, also.”

“Also, John McCain’s maverick position that he’s in, that’s really prompt up to and indicated by the supporters that he has.”

“There have been times where, as mayor and governor, we have passed budgets that I did not veto and that I think could be considered as something that I quasi-caved in, if you will, but knowing that it was the right thing to do in order to progress the agenda for that year and to work with the legislative body, that body that actually holds the purse strings.”

Wow.

There were times during the debate that I actually felt sorry for Sarah.  She was so clearly out of her league.  It seemed almost unfair, even though Gwen Ifill was imminently fair.  It’s just that any format that requires a candidate to show familiarity with issues, an ability to provide thoughtful answers, and a mastery of the English language inherently puts Palin at a disadvantage.

I watched the debate on CNN.  At first I found those minute-by-minute reaction graphs annoying.  But I quickly became fascinated by the fact that women loved Biden and hated Palin, while men were much more positively disposed to Palin.  Fascinating.  So Biden did a great job appealing to women (at least the “influenceable women” in Ohio who were on CNN’s “squiggle meter”).

One more CNN observation.  All the pundits, including the Republicans, scored it in Biden’s favor (what is this, a boxing match?) except for Rollins.  Poor Ed Rollins.  What a tool.

The best commentary line from a body language expert as reported on CBS:  “One of the things we look for is comfort and discomfort,” Navarro explained. “He made us feel comfortable. He looked presidential. She looked mayoral.”

Here are the results of a poll reported in The Swamp – the Chicago Tribune’s Washington Bureau that also shows that Biden wiped the floor with Palin:

Biden did better with Democrats than Palin did with Republicans, and Independents were with Biden by a huge margin.  So, yeah, Biden pretty much wiped the floor with Palin.  Nothing a little scrub-down with a bloody moose fur wouldn’t clean up.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
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