The Palin Factor

Tomorrow it will all be over.  Or at least we hope, hanging chads and recounts aside.

And in the final hours before the election, some analysts say Sarah Palin may be dragging down the Republican ticket.  Conventional wisdom tells us that people vote for the top of the ticket.  This certainly seems to be true for Obama, who chose an experienced senator for the bottom of his ticket.  But McCain’s surprising choice, which has excited the base of the Republican party for months, may be turning sour.

According to a CNN poll yesterday, John McCain would be doing better in the polls if the vice presidential election were held separately. And, if Biden and Palin were put toe-to-toe on the ballots tomorrow, the poll estimates that Biden would beat his opponent by 12 points. 

And, according to a New York Times article from earlier this week, 59 percent of Americans don’t think Sarah Palin is qualified for the job of vice president, up nine percentage points from the beginning of October.  And a third of voters say the vice presidential pick is a major factor in their votes for president.

I think it makes sense.  When Obama chose Biden to run on his ticket, he gained experience and conventionality.  When McCain chose Palin, he gained youth and excitement from many in the Republican base.  But, just like Obama had to face scrutiny over whether or not he had enough experience to be president, so did Palin.  And it doesn’t look like Americans think she passed the test.

Either way, this second female vice presidential candidate has been a major factor in the election.  And when all of the ballots have been counted, I can’t wait to see what her future will be in the Republican party.

Don’t forget to vote tomorrow!

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