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Women To McCain: We’re Just Not That Into You

EMILY’s List, which has been doing substantial polling of women and their thoughts on the presidential race, reports that the Sarah Palin pick has hurt John McCain’s electability among women pretty much across the board. Some excerpts from their latest report (PDF):

— First, this selection puts John McCain squarely in the realm of politics over principle in women voters’ eyes. Obama’s choice of Joe Biden is thought to be a selection based on qualifications over political expediency by a 50% to 29% margin. McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin is considered one of political calculation over qualifications by a 59% to 20% margin. 

— Second, Sarah Palin’s background and personal narrative are not particularly appealing to women voters, and she matches up poorly against Joe Biden in terms of the potential to establish a compelling narrative. When GarrinHartYang asked women about Sarah Palin only 41% total said that she either "appeals a lot" or "appeals a fair amount." When asked about Joe Biden, 61% total viewed him as either appealing a lot or a fair amount.

— Third, Governor Palin’s inclusion on the ticket squanders John McCain’s previous advantage over Barack Obama with regard to experience and readiness to lead. Not only do women find Sarah Palin’s qualifications lacking, but having her on the ticket undercuts the one advantage McCain previously held over Obama in the last Emily’s List polling.

— Fourth, several of Governor Palin’s positions on issues, including her position on abortion, alienate large segments of the women’s electorate and add to the perception that the GOP ticket is out of step with women voters’ views and priorities.

— Fifth, even with the historic inclusion of a woman on the Republican ticket, women voters conclude that the Obama-Biden ticket is more in step with the issues and concerns that are important to women than is the McCain-Palin ticket. By 53% to 35%.

— The more that Hillary Clinton’s primary supporters learn about Sarah Palin, the less likely they are to support John McCain. In fact, a full 55% of Clinton voters said that Palin made them less likely to vote for McCain, and Obama moves to a 54- percentage-point lead (75% to 21%) over McCain among these Clinton voters with the addition of Palin.

I knew when folks like Maureen Dowd and Dr. Laura turned against Palin publicly that something ugly was brewing.

The McCain campaign, which must have been drinking heavily last night to pull this out of their increasingly rumpled hat, trotted Ann Coulter out to gripe about Palin’s husband not carrying enough Mr. Mom weight in order to elicit sympathy for their failing Veep pick. I’m sure he appreciated the tips.  Tremendously.  No idea why anyone thought Ann Coulter was the appropriate parenting skillz messenger, but you work with whomever wants their share of the limelight, I suppose.

Since half the GOP has run the hell away from the convention center, with scads of empty seats on the teevee coverage thus far, maybe she and her perpetual cocktail dress had a few spare moments to chitchat.  

But to see hard numbers on how sour the female electorate has turned on Palin in less than a week is startling, given that the vast majority of women outside Alaska likely had very little clue who she even was.  Looks like women don’t like manipulative tactics or imprudent rolls of the campaign dice.  McCain just got served a serious "Dear John" letter.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com