Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Palin Factor, Men, Jews, and Hope for Obama

Everyone is talking about the Palin Factor. Yesterday I reported on how Palin has seemed to give the Republicans a 10 point bounce. The national polls now show McCain leading Obama for the first time since January.

But Palin's appeal has not been universal. Men are more impressed with Palin than women. Fully 58% of men think Palin is qualified to be President. Only 41% of women think she is qualified. This is surprising only if you think women are fools and will blindly vote on "identity politics". Many men, on the other hand, have their brains in their pants and like her because she is "macho" and "hot". Sort of like the sexualized women-with-guns of James Bond movies. Or maybe men are just more easily distracted than women? (I can say that, being a man.)

Palin's appeals to evangelicals, and to white rural voters, and to a certain segment of white suburban voters. This may be enough to swing Ohio, Michigan, and even Wisconsin into the Republican camp. Normally that would be enough to sink any hope for Obama's campaign. But, and its a big "But", if Obama can hang onto Colorado (post convention polls show this state essentially tied) and New Mexico, he may still have a chance - because of the Jews.
A poll released today, and taken after the Republican Convention, shows Florida has move into a tie - from leaning toward McCain. It appears to be the only state - so far - where the Republicans got a negative reaction from their convention. How to explain this? Simple (IMO) - Jews don't like rabid evangelicals. Some Jews can be enticed to vote Republican because of security issues, Israel issues, and even - to a smaller extent - by economic issues. And many Florida Jews had preferred McCain over Obama because of this. But Jews will bolt to the left whenever the issue becomes the "culture wars". Especially old Jews in Florida who still fear anti-Semitism are suspect of doctrinaire Christians. So Ironically, while Palin may help McCain in most states, she may hurt him in Florida.

How could all this affect the overall outcome? Look at the electoral map above. It shows the swing states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Virginia as going to McCain. It shows Obama taking the swing states of Colorado and New Mexico. And it shows Obama stealing Florida from the Republicans, based on the anti-Palin backlash among Floridas Jews.

The result is an electoral vote tie! 269-269. And that would throw the election to the House of Representatives, where, presumably, the Democratic majority would give it to Obama.

Now wouldn't that be fun! And all because McCain chose to mess with some old retired Jews in Florida.


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