The Plank

Post-debate Thoughts: Mccain-palin Opted To Play It Safe

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As with the Obama-McCain debate last Friday, the vast majority of the
insta-polls went to the Democratic ticket. Biden won the CBS poll of
undecideds 46-21, and the CNN poll of debate watchers 51-36.
Independents in the large MediaCurves focus group panel went for Biden about 2:1.The
internals, however, weren't nearly as bad for Palin as the topline
results. She got a jump in preparedness in the CBS poll, and the CNN
found that a large majority of voters concluded that she had beaten
their expectations.Palin's largest problem, to my eyes, is that
she was tangibly nervous for most of the debate, rushing through
talking points and canned jokes alike with unsually little inflection.
I doubt that this will impact her favorables much -- in fact, it seems
likely that her favroables will improve. But it may contribute to the
increasing feelings of dis-ease that some voters have with the McCain
campaign, which no longer seems like the manifestly safer choice.

--Nate Silver

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