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Thursday, October 2, 2008

And Now, the Snap Polls

posted by on October 2 at 20:20 PM

I’ll post the actual numbers when they’re up online. But CNN just flashed its snap-poll results on the TV. First, here’s what I predicted at the end of our liveblog:

Palin beat expectations, but you knew she was going to do that. Biden beat expectations, too—and his were a lot higher going in. My guess is the insta-polls will show a Biden win, and much greater comfort with the idea of him taking over [as president] if needed.

And the CNN poll showed: Biden exceeding expectations, Palin way exceeding expectations, voters by a more than 10-point margin declaring Biden the winner, and only a slight up-tick in the percentage of people who say Palin is ready to be president of the United States (with a majority still saying she’s not).

Here are some actual numbers, these on the question of who won:

CBS poll: Biden 46%, Palin 21%, tie 33%.

CNN poll: Biden 51%, Palin 36%.

RSS icon Comments


Does it matter that she beat expectations? If expectations were so low an ant could walk over them, how does that help her? She did exactly how I thought she would. No belly flop and a lot of bullshit.

Posted by hal | October 2, 2008 8:25 PM

@1, it matters because a lot of the country has ridiculously low standards for their elected officials. She may have met that standard.

Posted by cmaceachen | October 2, 2008 8:29 PM

CBS calls it 46 to 21 in favor of Biden.

Posted by eric | October 2, 2008 8:30 PM
Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 2, 2008 8:32 PM

Oh, and congratulations for reconnecting with the American people. Glad to have you back :-)

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 2, 2008 8:33 PM

you meant Vice President ... right?

Posted by Gordon Werner | October 2, 2008 8:40 PM

@2 Many many people tuned in to what they thought was a train wreck on Palin's part. She didn't self combust, but I do not believe she changed anyone's mind. I'm betting in the coming days she will be judged harshly for being unprepared with just a nod to spunk. But that's not what voters are looking for. The point in the end: if the majority of voters think she is unprepared, this does nothing but reinforce that narrative. Those in her corner will keep erecting statues in her honor because in the end, what else are they going to do?

Posted by hal | October 2, 2008 8:42 PM

You are all crazy. You think Biden won? A poll 45 minutes later fails to inspire confidence in truth, let alone statistical veracity.

Everyone in my parts is blown away at Sarah Palin's performance.

And wow, what an interesting position both Biden and Palin share when it comes to gay marriage. Gay people, there is no Gay Moses here to set you free.

Keep up the fight.

Posted by SPGF | October 2, 2008 8:43 PM

"Everyone in my parts is blown away at Sarah Palin's performance."

Much more accurate than a little old poll. How many people do you know "in your parts" BTW? You've talked to hundreds? Thousands? And they all loved Obama before but have now flipped, right?

Posted by hal | October 2, 2008 8:49 PM

Did anyone else notice the subtle face change when she mentioned grandchildren?

Posted by Jesse | October 2, 2008 8:50 PM

@ 8: "Everyone in my parts is blown away..." Do you have a party in your pants?

Posted by Madashell | October 2, 2008 8:56 PM

@8 "Everyone in my parts is blow away," yeah right, keep telling yourself that and perhaps it will come true one day. But out side of your republican gated community you will find a very different world. One of these days maybe you'll catch a case of intellectual curiosity and discontinue watching FauxNews for an evening and look to see what is really happening in the world. But unfortunately people like you think that intelligence is evil and that ignorance is some sort of virtue.

Posted by Trucker Elite | October 2, 2008 8:58 PM

"Everyone in my parts is blown away at Sarah Palin's performance."

What's "Your Parts"? Some shithole like Omaha or Topeka or Boise, with negligible electoral votes and a population of idiots too stupid to leave after high school?

Posted by Parts is Parts | October 2, 2008 9:05 PM

@11; wow, dude, I bet your lightning wit just KO's the other kids in homeroom. And 9 and 12, sure--pile on SPGF, the quisling who deliberately passed up his golden opportunity to dis her to the world. Too bad his loyalties didn't conform to most SLOG readers' expectations. I'm sure he realises that, and that in consequence he hasn't slept a wink since his interview.

I'm on record as saying they'd both do fine, and they did. Each of them looked and sounded their age, and each of them did well according to their lights, and each of them did a good job supporting their Presidential running mates. Palin had a bigger job, higher expectations to meet, and she rose to the task. Biden's bar was a little lower, but he also rose to his task. Well done, both candidates.

Posted by Seajay | October 2, 2008 9:16 PM

Biden is her daddy.

Posted by Raven | October 2, 2008 9:22 PM



Seriously, why is anyone still pretending that she isn't a major liability for McCain?

Posted by twee | October 2, 2008 9:28 PM

Seejay, are you fucking nuts? If the bar for Palin had been set any lower, you wouldn't have been able to slide a sheet of paper underneath it.

And considering she spent approximately 40% of the debate deliberately NOT ANSWERING the questions posed to her (as frequently noted by BOTH Senator Biden and Ms. Ifill), as well as sounding like a fucking broken record by continuously spewing the same (admittedly well-rehearsed) talking points over and over again,I'd say she nominally met the extremely low expectations set out for her ahead of time.

Biden on the other hand had a much higher bar to surmount, given his penchant for verbal gaffes, and his tendency to over respond, and in both of those areas he performed admirably, not to mention avoiding the obvious trap by not falling into a condescending tone when responding directly to Palin.

So, it's pretty easy to see why the insta-polls immediately following the debate would show a much higher favorable rating for Biden than for Palin; frankly, he just looked, and sounded like the sort of person you'd trust in the Oval Office, while Palin, despite being well-rehearsed in a handful of specific points, showed none of these same qualities.

Posted by COMTE | October 2, 2008 9:37 PM

Palin did better than anyone thought she would. She stuck to her talking points, and it was fascinating how she used the same answer repeatedly, regardless of the question. She was obviously well coached, and sounded much more coherent than in the CBS interview.

Biden won the debate, but Palin didn't fall flat on her face as everyone thought she would. Remember, Bush never won a debate, yet still managed to get elected twice. With that in mind, advantage Republicans on this night. In the long run, I'm guessing this will have little or no affect on Election Day.

Posted by Mahtli69 | October 2, 2008 9:44 PM

Dear Joe Biden,
I was already down with your ticket, but, man. Tonight, you made it one million times better. You murdered it, guy.

If McCain is (very clearly) someone's mean old cranky Gramps, you are (certainly) someone's super nice, super smart Grampa. With lots of good books and great advice.

And, you probably smell real nice, too.

Thank you.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 2, 2008 10:07 PM

Biden crushed her.

The key was how he took time to underscore her blatant deceptions and evasions.

Look for some creative use of all those Palin winks. I'm picturing some kind of dance beat as you wink, wink, wink those pounds off your thighs...

Posted by elenchos | October 2, 2008 10:59 PM

kerri I've felt bad all day slamming your party post. I'll stop by.

Posted by poster girl | October 2, 2008 11:00 PM

Thank you Joe Biden for finally kicking the shit out of the term "Maverick". As I saw the tears swell in Sarah Palin's eyes I was hopeful that we would never have to hear that bullshit second rate sales job again.

Posted by Shizawn | October 2, 2008 11:13 PM

The debate may have changed a few minds about Sarah Palin's ability to get through a debate, but it won't change anyone's mind about her readiness to lead.

But Joe Biden fucking nailed it. He hit just the right tones - smart, humble, animated, gracious, gentlemanly, and likable. His points were crisp, clear, and on target. The moment when his voice broke while talking about his sons was amazing.

Joe rocks, and Obama rocks for picking him.

Posted by Sean | October 2, 2008 11:15 PM

@22 So fucking true!

Posted by Sean | October 2, 2008 11:19 PM

if palin's random babbling concerning "alternative energy", "global warming", "global warming not actually existing", or whatever the fucking hellish madness she was spewing didn't break your fucking brain in half and cause you physical pain, then you are just plain dumb. if you are in this camp, please forget to vote.


The Non-Dumbfucks of America, United

Posted by uncle baggy | October 2, 2008 11:21 PM

the voters that matter -- the voters that called it for obama in his debate -- will go in majority to biden.

Posted by josh | October 2, 2008 11:34 PM

#s 22 & 24: I just got home from Sigur Ros (what a great show--my priorities are in order) and caught the tail end of the replay. The first thing I heard was Biden light up McCain's "maverick" identity. It was beautiful, so much so I actually pumped a fist in the air. I'd love to hear more of that in the next presidential debate. Obama reads Slog and takes requests, right? Good.

Posted by California | October 2, 2008 11:46 PM

@21: no worries. Come through and say hi.

Sarah Palin is like the dead squirrel in my blog: kinda sad, but mostly a reminder that evil must be squashed. I don't care how fucking cute you are, Winkasaurus Rex. Real talk.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 2, 2008 11:53 PM

Spaceship McCain-Palin just blasted off!

Obama-Biden biplane crop dusting weeds.

Posted by John Bailo | October 3, 2008 12:17 AM

Sarah Palin has a very poor command of the English language. She rarely speaks in a sentence. She often says phrases that are a subject, and an adjective...and another subject, and an adjuctive....sometimes there is a verb.

She mixes metaphors and aphorisms in an "original" way, like saying the "top of the line" of her "agenda" is something or other.

I liked it when Biden said he's a dad, too, he was a single dad, and he's seen his kids when he was wondering if they wouldn't make it. I hate it when the right wing acts like no liberal politician has a family, or a kitchen table, or values like love and devotion.

Posted by PC | October 3, 2008 12:21 AM


Anglophilic wonkatrons are not Presidential materiel.

Decision making.

Speaking from the heart.

Go to Oxford if you want sentences...and stuff like that...

Posted by John Bailo | October 3, 2008 12:27 AM

I had a visit with the doctor that ran late, so I didn't even get to my car until after the debate started. I got to listen to the first half and watch the second.

I found myself quite confused by Palin's statements when in the car. The only thing I could think of when she spoke was the word "bazackwards." It seemed like someone wrote a GOP stump speech on mah-jong tiles and then randomly pulled them out of a bag. The phrases were there, but all out of order. As I was driving over the 99 bridge, I thought I actually heard her say "we have a toxic situation on main street, that is causing a lot of pain to the folks on Wall street." That just sounds bazackwards! I feel so bad for those brokers? How will they ever afford that summer place in the hamptons with all this turmoil in the markets? The stupid middle class always ruins the party!

As I got inside and started to watch the debates, I started to see how people could start to be fooled by this woman. She really comes off like a local newscaster. I could totally see her busting negligent home repair contractors at 5:30 and 11:00. She did have enough skill to realize that when she wasn't making any sense by repeating the same sound bites for a third round, she went to the notecards. I could see the fluster in her be calmed after she had the cliff notes answers at her fingertips. I know when someone is searching their thoughts for an answer while talking, and they need a reference as a back up, they look down all the time, shuffle the cards, and avoid eye contact. When someone repeatedly looks at the audience, then down, then the audience, then down, audience, down, lather, rinse, repeat 6 times, they are reading a prepared statement. She was reading a prepared answer off of a card. Not what I like to see from a skilled thinker. Watch in the last 20 minutes, or just look for the clips on youtube tomorrow, you'll see.

But she did not seem very flustered while doing this. She showed the smoothness of someone who isn't afraid of an audience or a camera. She just seemed out of her league.

Biden looked like Biden. He made sense, presented his opinion, and did all the things that were expected of him. He obviously was the winner, but in some way he wasn't the big winner he should have been. Too many prople were wrongly disappointed that she did not implode. That is the letdown for Biden. At least he didn't show any of the the old/young frustration dynamic that McCain did in his last debate. Some on the wing-o-sphere were expecting him to go off on her. I know if I was in his shoes I couldn't have gone 90 minutes without saying "Seriously, WTF did you just say?" to her.

Posted by wisepunk | October 3, 2008 12:46 AM

"I liked it when Biden said he's a dad, too, he was a single dad..."

Sure, the codger thought maybe he'd get some sympathy sex from Palin as a consolation prize for ending up on the loser's stand.

Posted by John Bailo | October 3, 2008 12:49 AM

Check out this awesome poll: Who is won the VP debate?

This is from the Anchorage Daily News - the biggest newspaper in Alaska.

Posted by asteria | October 3, 2008 12:51 AM

John, it's material, not materiel. Materiel is war supplies -- perhpas you simply made a typo? Hey it happens to the best of us.

Here are more examples of her poor diction:
In her first answer she said a "barometer" "is going to be resounding that our economy is hurting"

Barometers don't make any sound at all. They don't "resound" either.

She said "John McCain thankfully has been one representing reform."
Um, representing it in the sense of being an image of it, but not really achieving it? What?

He represents his constituents. He pushes for reform (supposedly) he doens't "represent" it.

It's an incorrect word choice.

And a pretty surprizing one in a representative government.....

She said he sounded the bell about Fannie and Freddie but his Senate colleages "wouldn't go towards that reform" -- huh?

She couldn't think of the verb, "enact" ?
She couldn't say they "failed" or "refused" to heed him?

She said "there will be that greater oversight, again thanks to John McCain's bipartisan efforts that he was so instrumental in bringing folks together"--this is very awkward and redundant and meandering. She's missing a preposition, and the is/is verb structure is contrary to the most basic elements of style or the need to have verbs that actually carry the action.

Funny how the conservatives are all for proper English and high standards and even make fun of minorities who don't speak well, but abandon all that just to support a dunce like Palin.

She simply buzzes from metaphor to metaphor, unable to take root anywhere -- this is EXACTLY the sort of continual malapropism up with which I shall not put!

PS: John, if you like our fundamental rights you should kinda like England, too. that reminds me of one of the GOP Senators who said the damn immigrants should all learn English and not Spanish because the English language had all the fundamental documents underlying our political system, like the Magna Carta.

Au revoir, M. Bailo, tu as des cervelles d'hotdog....

Posted by PC | October 3, 2008 12:54 AM

Cincinnati Enquirer online readers have Palin ahead by 47%-45%

Sloggers, please change the outcome!

Posted by emma's bee | October 3, 2008 5:50 AM

Hi there, Emma, from another Cincinnatian. The Cincinnati Enquirer is a right wing rag, and its website is an absolute mess. The poll is meaningless and not worth getting worked up over.

Posted by LDP in Cincinnati | October 3, 2008 6:27 AM

Palin was a misfiring Cyborgette with all that robotic ill-timed winking and Biden looked like a half-Romulan with his bad eyelid surgery. That being said (and it needed to be), Biden cleaned her clock on basic debate points and she made the right wing rube crowd touch themselves. No surprises. The only applause moment at the bar I was in was when Biden spit out that Cheney was the most dangerous VP in history. He hit that one of the park even if it is low hanging fruit when you toss Cheney under the bus.

Bummed they don't get to debate again.

Posted by Bob | October 3, 2008 6:54 AM

1. Biden had amazing composure throughout the entire debate. I hope Obama can improve his for the next two, as that was his greatest weakness during his 1st debate

2. I LOVED how Biden called bullshit on McCain's 'Maverick' claim - finally!

3. So much of Sarah's charm is her supposed connection to 'Joe 6 pack American' - Obama and co need to call Bullshit on this too - first, she makes a lot more money and travels with her family on the taxpayers dime. Second, and more to the point, McCain defines what it means to be a spoiled, worthless rich brat who got everything in life solely because of daddy and grandpa's connections - not because of any work or value of his own. This needs to be heavily marketed to all the undecided voters who think republicans understand their issues around the kitchen table- guess what- they don't - they get everything because they happen to fall out of the vagina of the priveleged, connected, conservative elite.

Posted by freshnycman | October 3, 2008 7:12 AM

@29 As long as they leave the planet.

Posted by Rank Stranger | October 3, 2008 7:25 AM

During the debate, I could see both candidates making up facts and defenses as they went on. It was pretty obvious. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that had already posted a thorough clarification:

Also, what is with Biden using the defense that McCain voted the same way as Obama? McCain has missed more votes than any senator (over 62% of them) in the past 6 years. He's missed more votes than Tim Johnson, the senator from South Dakota who had a brain aneurysm that kept him off of the senate floor for two full years. He's missed 6 times the votes of Ted Kennedy who hasn't voted since his brain tumor diagnosis. Why does no one talk about his non-participation in our government?

Posted by Will in STL | October 3, 2008 7:30 AM

@ 36, I just voted and posted my comments to the Cincinatti Enquirer- hopefully reason will get through to some of these undecideds...

Posted by freshnycman | October 3, 2008 7:33 AM
Posted by John Bailo | October 3, 2008 7:39 AM

@30: Most of us are able to speak in complete sentences without having gone to Oxford.

Command of the English language is the least we can ask for in a president. (Just ask the right-wing "speak English or leave" crowd.)

Posted by Sean | October 3, 2008 8:22 AM

No, Comte, I'm not nuts. Or have you not been reading the nonstop insults hurled at Mrs Palin on this site since Day One? To listen to people around here she's about on the same level as an inflatable doll, while Mr Biden is a statesman. She acquitted herself rather better than most people here had hoped ... I think even you have to concede that. While Mr Biden acquitted himself just about as well as most people here had hoped. If that observation makes me nuts, then I own up.

Posted by Seajay | October 3, 2008 8:36 AM

@30: Yeah, if you want English, go back to Englishland!

Posted by Gloria | October 3, 2008 8:40 AM

@37: Yes, duh on all counts, but I still like to fuck with them and their smug sense of reliable conservatism among their readership.

Current tally:
Who won the vice-presidential debate?
Joe Biden
Sarah Palin
It was a tie
Total Votes: 6050

Posted by emma's bee | October 3, 2008 9:45 AM


Yes, indeed I have been paying attention - to a lot more than just the rantings and railings of my fellow SLOGGERS, bless them. If you did the same, you'd understand what I meant.

For the last two weeks, the McCain Campaign, with the help of those in the media who have remained loyal to him despite his recent imprecations against them, has consistently pushed the bar for Palin progressively lower on an almost daily basis. By last night, that bar had effectively become a speed-bump: all she had to do to "win" the debate was to stay on-message for her memorized talking-points (which apparently weren't even memorized all that well, given her annoying habit of constantly looking down to her 3x5's before responding to a question or challenge), not make any obvious gaffes, and turn that "Alaskan hockey mom" charm up to 11; not exactly the sort of rigorous standards to which a politician running for the second highest executive office in the nation should be held. In short, she just had to NOT look like an addled-brained twit.

Biden on the other hand, went in with the media and the pundits believing he had much more to prove: that he could stay on-message without meandering into the sort of long-winded, wonkish policy minutea for which he's well-known; not commit any of his now-infamous verbal gaffes; that he could play down the significant differences he and Obama have previously had on major policy issues; and most importantly, not fall into the trap of taking on Palin directly, as he tends to do with his opponents, and thus appear to be condescending and bullying.

Granted, in both respects they met, and even exceeded these goals, but make no mistake, the expectation from the media going in was that Biden clearly had the greater burden, while Palin, simply had to not fall flat on her face. Yet, despite her marginally solid, if obviously highly managed performance, Palin still wasn't able to do much more than barely hold on.

And based on the post-debate and overnight polling, most Americans (at least those who bother to take these sorts of polls) clearly felt that wasn't enough to give her a decisive victory, or any victory at all.

Posted by COMTE | October 3, 2008 10:29 AM

I wish I could get me some of that Palin Pussy! It's Folksy!

Posted by John Bailo | October 3, 2008 10:51 AM

Comte, I'm not disagreeing with you on your basic point. (I could, but I won't.) My point is that I am not talking about the country as a whole and I *am* confining myself to the rantings and railings of our fellow SLOGGERS. As for the rest of the country, who knows? Polls can say just about anything you want. I saw one poll of undecided voters that gave it to Mrs Palin by 88-12. As usual, what it really is certainly lies somewhere in the middle of all the polls. And anyway, I haven't heretofore mentioned who "won" because I don't buy into a 'who won?' mentality when it comes to political issues (outside of actual elections). When it comes to politics there's seldom a question of who "wins"--it's always lawyers and lobbyists. Working people lose.

Posted by Seajay | October 3, 2008 11:35 AM

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