McCain - Palin: Don't stick a fork in us yet!

Jake Turcotte

The McCain campaign received some good news today. The study released this morning that showed one in four mammals are in danger of becoming extinct did not include the McCain-Palin ticket.

Despite low polling numbers, no one is yet sticking a fork in the duo. In fact, the Obama campaign would say the most prominent fork on the campaign trail today is Sarah Palin's tongue.


The Republican nominee for vice president was on full throttle in Florida on Monday, making it a three-day assault on Barack Obama's character.

Some would argue that Palin's new stump speech is basically a noun, a verb, and a "Barack hangs out with terrorists."

If that's the case, she revised it today to add in a "he's not telling the truth," as Palin amped up her already incendiary speech.

"Barack Obama says that Ayers was just someone in the neighborhood," Palin said.  "But that's less than truthful. His own top advisor said that they were, quote, 'certainly friendly.' In fact, Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers's living room. And they've worked together on various projects in Chicago."


Palin was, of course, discussing former Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers.  Ayers held a fundraiser for Obama back in 1995 and served on a board with him. The Obama campaign continues to deny any significant relationship between their candidate and Ayers – always including a list of media outlets which have concluded their affiliation was slight.

No matter.  The strategy is to attack.  And to cast doubt in the minds of the undecideds.

Bad polls 

But according to a new CNN poll, the Republican ticket is going to have to sway some already-decideds as well.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday afternoon shows 53 percent of likely voters will support Obama while 45 percent prefer John McCain.

According to the poll, McCain's Achilles heel appears to be plural, as both President Bush and his running mate are bringing him down.

Only 24 percent polled approve of President Bush's performance.  If that sounds low – it is.  Think Nixon low.

"Bush has now tied Richard Nixon's worst rating ever, taken in a poll just before he resigned in 1975, and is only 2 points higher than the worst presidential approval rating in history, Harry Truman's 22 percent mark in February 1952," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Moose hunt

As for Palin, 40 percent of those polled  have an unfavorable view of the vice presidential nominee and a majority do not believe she is qualified for the office of the presidency, if needed.

Unfortunately for the McCain campaign, the polling was done after the vice presidential debate.

Nothing to see here

No need to panic, say many Republicans. The campaign is not an out-of-control train. Rather, they have a two-pronged strategy to win over voters.

GOP strategist Rob Stutzman told The Vote that the McCain campaign is doing what they have to do to get the polls to swing back in their favor – put Palin on the attack while allowing McCain to "connect."

"Using Palin to deliver the cultural attacks is perfectly sensible," he said. "But while she’s hunting for voters who will have doubts bout Obama and his friends, McCain needs to be truly connecting with swing voters over their economic anxiety. They need to look at him and see someone who is relentless in defining a pro-growth, tax-cutting, and job-creating agenda and create an alternative to an all-liberal-all-the-time power structure in Washington."

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