Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Palin Effect

Personally, I know that John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate energized and gave me hope for the November election.  When once I was debating the merits of staying home and looking forward to the hopeful rebirth of a conservative GOP after the seemingly-assured, resounding defeat of "moderate," now I'll be in line at the polls bright and early, with bells on.  

But things have changed . . . 

In July, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch poll, McCain trailed Barack Obama in Missouri 48% to 43%.  Since then, McCain has climbed 6 points and taken the lead over Obama, 49% to 45%.

Palin is now drawing Obama-esque crowds, 60, 000 people turned out to see her in Florida today.

And, though it is almost certainly too good to be true, the San Francisco Chronicle hints that California might be back in play since Palin's nomination with a headline stating that her effect on the race "sparks fear among Dems."  (Wow, wouldn't those 55 electoral votes change things?)

The upcoming debates will, I think, be the deciding factor in what seems to be shaping itself into another close election race.  And, for the first time in many years, the debate between the Vice Presidential candidates (October 2, 2008, at Washington University in our town) is likely to matter as much or more than any of the three Presidential debates.

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