Post Debate Polls Leave Conservatives Looking to Palin

Despite the absence of a “knock out” for McCain or Obama during last Friday nights debate a USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted on Saturday, Sept. 27 — the first day after the debate — reported that those watching gave Obama an edge over McCain.

When asked “who did a better job” regardless of which candidate watchers support 46% said that Obama did better, 34% said McCain.

Rasmussen polling was not as dramatic, reporting that “36% thought Obama won, 33% gave the advantage to McCain, and 31% were not sure.”

Rasmussen also polled partisans finding that little changed among those committed already to one candidate. “By a 67% to 3% margin, Obama supporters thought he won the debate. By a 73% to 2% margin, McCain voters thought their man came out ahead”.

The Daily Gallup poll reflecting Thursday, Friday Saturday has Obama at 50% to McCain 42% “just one point shy of his strongest showing of the year.”

Gallup suggests though that these particular results reveal a negative reaction to the brief suspension of McCain campaign last week — rather than negative reaction to his debate performance as some news outlets might have you believe.

“The full impact of the debate and its aftermath will not be reflected in the tracking data until Tuesday’s report, which will be based on interviewing conducted Saturday, Sunday, and Monday,” writes Gallup.

On Thursday vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin will debate at Washington University in St. Louis, moderated by PBS’s Gwen Ifill who has been given little to no guidelines on topics.

Wednesday Sept. 27 a Rasmussen national telephone survey reported that “Sarah Palin is still viewed more favorably by voters than Joseph Biden, 54% to 49%”.

Vice Presidential debates usually have little effect on elections but given Biden’s gaffe prone tendencies and Palin’s lack of media exposure, things could get interesting.

McCain’s announcement of Palin on his ticket managed to re energize the Republican party and boost polls in his favor last month (see “Republicans’ Enthusiasm Jumps After Convention”) can Palin do it again?