Sarah Palin and Joe Biden drew in 69.9 million viewers last Thursday for their vice presidential debate according to Nielson ratings, the biggest audience in history for a vice-presidential debate.
Like so many Americans, I watched the debate from my living room. I turned on FOX News and also logged on to RedState.com (a HUMAN EVENTS sister company) for “live blogging”.
The phrase “GO SARAH!” often scrolled across my laptop from RedStaters excited by Palin’s performance, and the FOX News panel collectively called it a win for Palin during their post debate analysis.
So did Palin’s impressive performance do anything more for the Republican Party than allow originally confident conservatives the opportunity to say “I told you so” to doubters like Kathleen Parker? Post debate polling says no.
Gallup polling conducted Oct. 1-3 finds that Obama still holds an eight point lead over John McCain. “That includes Friday polling, the first interviews conducted following Thursday’s widely viewed vice presidential debate”.
A Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll for Sunday looks just as bleak, with Obama “attracting 51% of the vote while John McCain earns 44%”.
Polls show that Palin won’t give the McCain campaign another enthusiasm surge as she did after her speech at the Republican National Convention.
Her charming performance debating Biden did nothing more than stop the bleeding after a brutal week of economic crisis and disjointed responses to “gotcha” interviews conducted by the drive by media.
But sit tight Republicans: there is still a light at the end of the tunnel.
Rasmussen also reports that of those polled “45% say they are certain they will vote for Obama and will not change their mind” and “38% say the same about McCain”.
Rasmussen found that 13% of voters say they “currently have a preference for one of the candidates but might change their mind”.
Americans aren’t sure about what to do in Iraq anymore and the media says a recession is inevitable. Words like “change,” “experience” and “maverick” echo everywhere teetering independent voters back and forth. For those undecided there is still time to sway their vote and 4 weeks can be an eternity in an election.
ABC News’ “See How They Run: Poll Tracker” as of September 29 shows independents still with a slight tilt toward McCain 48% to 45%. Registered Democrats voting for McCain, 10%. “Obamacans”, 8%.
As this race nears the finish lines each campaign will turn up the heat and it’s very possible that Obama peaked too early.
There is an entire month to appeal to swings states, sharpen messages during two more debates (one in Nashville on Tuesday and the other in Hempstead, NY on Oct. 15) and most importantly court the independent voters who are likely to have just now tuned into the race.
This week we can expect Obama to criticize McCain further on issues regarding the economy, as last weeks financial crisis accounted for his boost in the polls, but can Joe Biden go four whole weeks without a damaging gaffe?
McCain will perform well in Tuesday nights “town hall” style debate moderated by Tom Brokaw as his campaign has pushed for “town hall” style debates for months but met resistance from Barack Telepromter Obama.
Sunday morning Chris Matthews told Kathleen Parker that he got the sense that Republicans are “throwing in the towel” — she did little to counter his statement — but Matthews senses are off.
Despite Obama’s overall lead in the recent weeks, the race is still relatively close and the McCain campaign will continue to fight.
It was just four weeks ago that Democrats and liberals panicked over Palin’s popularity… look at where we are now.
Sorry Mr. Matthews, sorry Parker but it’s a little early — McCain is still in the game.