Rasmussen: Majority says McCain and, er, Biden are ready to be president

posted at 1:07 pm on September 15, 2008 by Allahpundit

Not a complete disaster for The One — a plurality would still prefer to see him as president than McCain — but pay attention to the trend:

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters say John McCain is prepared right now to be president, and 50% say the same thing about Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden. Forty-four percent (44%) say the man at the top of Biden’s ticket, Barack Obama, is ready, but 45% say he isn’t

Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 71% say McCain is prepared for the Presidency while just 35% say the same about Obama…

The McCain-Obama numbers track roughly with what Rasmussen Reports has been seeing for several months when voters are asked if Obama is too inexperienced to be president. However, the number who viewed Obama as too inexperienced fell to 38% immediately following the Democratic National Convention late last month.

How to explain that seven-point lurch among people who think he’s too inexperienced? I want to believe it’s post-Palin collateral damage from the sudden explosion of worry within the media about trusting neophytes with the reins of power, but the truth is probably more mundane: Barry’s convention bounce ended and McCain’s RNC speech was a surprise success that doubtless ended up drawing some uncomfortable contrasts in viewers’ minds.

That’s not the only provocative trend, though. From a Rasmussen poll taken September 1, three days after Palin was chosen:

Voters overall by a 48% to 29% margin say Palin is not ready yet to be president, a view shared by 74% of Democrats and 48% of unaffiliated voters but only 16% of Republicans.

Versus yesterday’s poll:

Over half of voters (52%) say McCain’s running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, is not prepared to be president, but 33% disagree…

68% of GOP voters think Palin is prepared to be president, but 82% of Democrats and a majority of unaffiliated voters (51%) say she is not. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of voters not affiliated with either major party believe Palin is ready to be president.

It’s close to the three-point margin of error, but needless to say, if the trend was the other way we wouldn’t be rushing to point that out. On the other hand, the photos don’t lie, and if Palin’s hurting him in the electoral college, it’s news to me. Exit question: What does this mean? “Asked which of the four candidates they’d most like to see as President, 42% say Obama, 35% McCain, 10% Palin, and 7% Biden.” How do we get from there to the fact that McCain leads 49/47 in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll?

Update: Speaking of Palin getting credit for post-convention aftershocks, Tapper appears to take at face value Team Barry’s claim that Palin blowback earned them an extra $10 million last month. She was picked the day after the Democratic convention ended; no doubt millions of people who’d never seen him before watched his speech the night before and were inspired. What reason is there to think they were donating because they dislike her and not because they like him?


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Palin may not be ready right now…we are electing McCain right now for President, not Palin.
Next year, let’s take another poll and see.

right2bright on September 15, 2008 at 1:10 PM

I don’t want to know!

Griz on September 15, 2008 at 1:10 PM

I suspect a large number of Obama supporters don’t really care that he is not ready to be POTUS.

Elizabetty on September 15, 2008 at 1:10 PM

So, in other words, out of the people running for president, people overwhelmingly think McCain is more ready to be president.

Shocker.

MadisonConservative on September 15, 2008 at 1:11 PM

By the way, McCain is campaigning for Palin in Florida today.

Elizabetty on September 15, 2008 at 1:11 PM

How do we get from there to the fact that McCain leads 49/47 in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll?

There’s almost certainly a portion of the electorate that would like to support Obama for symbolic reasons, but they understand that symbolism doesn’t answer the phone at 3 a.m.

Mr. D on September 15, 2008 at 1:12 PM

“Asked which of the four candidates they’d most like to see as President, 42% say Obama, 35% McCain, 10% Palin, and 7% Biden.” How do we get from there to the fact that McCain leads 49/47 in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll?

This is probably the answer:

Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 71% say McCain is prepared for the Presidency while just 35% say the same about Obama…

forest on September 15, 2008 at 1:13 PM

We in Illinois are still wondering when B.O. will be ready to be SENATOR!

pilamaye on September 15, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Asked which of the four candidates they’d most like to see as President, 42% say Obama, 35% McCain, 10% Palin, and 7% Biden.” How do we get from there to the fact that McCain leads 49/47 in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll?

Obviously most of the 10% Palin supporters are voting for McCain, and so are at least 4 of Bidens 7%.

pedestrian on September 15, 2008 at 1:14 PM

in the primaries(not caucuses) how did Obama poll vs. actual numbers? Wondering if there wasn’t a “bradley effect’ to go by also. Needless to say it would likely be stronger effect among Independents than registered Dems

jp on September 15, 2008 at 1:15 PM

In a poll of likely voters, 103% of Americans believe that pollsters are morons.

innominatus on September 15, 2008 at 1:16 PM

Things that just wont go away;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-45A6I-N5I

christene on September 15, 2008 at 1:17 PM

If Palin’s ‘readiness’ numbers are moving in the wrong direction that’s not really a good thing, but people don’t vote against a candidate becuase of their vp pick, no matter how they answer a poll question. No one’s closing the curtain and saying “You know I really like McCain, but that Palin lady…”

And that picture you linked to is showing the area behind the stage, on a Monday morning rally. A month ago any of us would have been pleasantly surprised to hear McCain got 3,000 people to show up and hear him speak.

BadgerHawk on September 15, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Obviously most of the 10% Palin supporters are voting for McCain, and so are at least 4 of Bidens 7%.

pedestrian on September 15, 2008 at 1:14 PM

You’re probably right.

forest on September 15, 2008 at 1:18 PM

How do we get from there to the fact that McCain leads 49/47 in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll?

There’s almost certainly a portion of the electorate that would like to support Obama for symbolic reasons, but they understand that symbolism doesn’t answer the phone at 3 a.m.

Mr. D on September 15, 2008 at 1:12 PM

I like that answer.

NoFanofLibs on September 15, 2008 at 1:18 PM

What does this mean? “Asked which of the four candidates they’d most like to see as President, 42% say Obama, 35% McCain, 10% Palin, and 7% Biden.” How do we get from there to the fact that McCain leads 49/47 in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll?

It s 4 way candidate comparison (Why they did this I dont know) if you add the numbers up it totals 94%. It seems to suggest that 10% of McCain’s supporters back her more than him and &5 of Obama’s supporters back Joe rather than Obama.

So Biden does seem to add to Obama’s ticket but then Palin adds more to McCain.

William Amos on September 15, 2008 at 1:20 PM

One explanation:

At least 40% of those who think Biden’s the best pick of the four put McCain as their second choice, rather than Obama. (These would be democrats who care about experience.)

Most of the 6% who aren’t sure which of the four they’d prefer are stuck over whether they’d rather see President McCain or President Palin.

ClintACK on September 15, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Allah,

the $10 million came after Palin’s speech not after the DNC convention

unseen on September 15, 2008 at 1:22 PM

And the RNC raised $17m after that speech. SO Palin was +7 million to the repb. she also raised $10 m for the RNC after her announcment by McCain. so +17m for Palin for the week from announcement to speech.

unseen on September 15, 2008 at 1:23 PM

After Ford, Carter, Clinton and Bush, Palin would be a welcome change of pace as prez.

saved on September 15, 2008 at 1:24 PM

so Ras. adjusted weight by only 1 point?

jp on September 15, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Al Sharpton was a community organizer; Ronald Reagan was a governor.

saint kansas on September 15, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Al Sharpton was a community organizer; Ronald Reagan was a governor.

saint kansas on September 15, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Genius! Make a pin out of that!!

Darksean on September 15, 2008 at 1:31 PM

the $10 million came after Palin’s speech not after the DNC convention

unseen on September 15, 2008 at 1:22 PM

So they say. It’s possible that they brought in 2 or 3 million and are claiming 10. There’s no way to tell.

BadgerHawk on September 15, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Obviously most of the 10% Palin supporters are voting for McCain, and so are at least 4 of Bidens 7%.

pedestrian on September 15, 2008 at 1:14 PM
.
You’re probably right.

forest on September 15, 2008 at 1:18 PM

.
I think he means 4 people out of the 7%, not 4% – Joe, his wife and their two voting age children……

Simonsez on September 15, 2008 at 1:36 PM

I love Palin, but agree that she is not ready to be POTUS. She will be ready by the time she needs to be. Even if something happened to McCain, Palin would be ready before Obama. He has NO executive experience!

Star20 on September 15, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Hey AP – What do you mean the “photos don’t lie”. Lots of photos lie, including the one you linked.

If you examine it, you can see that it is a picture of the empty seats BEHIND THE STAGE. There is an American flag indicating where the center is. Starting where the stage begins, the seats look to be packed.

They can’t sell tickets to the NCAA final four to seats where you can’t see the court. I don’t see an issue there at all.

connertown on September 15, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Things that just wont go away;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-45A6I-N5I

christene on September 15, 2008 at 1:17 PM

That’s a great video. McCain should tighten that up and run it non-stop.

pedestrian on September 15, 2008 at 1:40 PM

The whole “ready to be POTUS” argument means little to me. What type and character of person is the more meaningful question. (Awkwardly phrased, I know. Sorry).

Mac and Palin win that one hands down.

pugwriter on September 15, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Even Kissinger, at the GOP convention, said that experience wasn’t a biggie. That’s kinda what choosing a good cabinet and appointing advisors is for.

pugwriter on September 15, 2008 at 1:49 PM

And that picture you linked to is showing the area behind the stage, on a Monday morning rally. A month ago any of us would have been pleasantly surprised to hear McCain got 3,000 people to show up and hear him speak.

BadgerHawk on September 15, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Hey AP – What do you mean the “photos don’t lie”. Lots of photos lie, including the one you linked.

connertown on September 15, 2008 at 1:39 PM

In addition to Badger’s and conner’s points, there may be an additional factor to the crowd sizes — weather. It’s hot and muggy in Jacksonville today with a prediction of rain. Denver is sunny, clear 70s.

Bottom line. There’s no downside to the crowds Palin draws. She seems to be a great campaigner. I’m sure that factored into McCain’s decision to choose her.

Y-not on September 15, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Palin may not be ready right now…we are electing McCain right now for President, not Palin.
Next year, let’s take another poll and see.

Yes but will McCain live through his inaugural address?

/kidding

aengus on September 15, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Allah,

the $10 million came after Palin’s speech not after the DNC convention

unseen on September 15, 2008 at 1:22 PM

I think Allah is saying that was the spin. But what was the truth? Who knows. I think Allah is making a valid point.

petunia on September 15, 2008 at 3:40 PM

I love Palin, but agree that she is not ready to be POTUS. She will be ready by the time she needs to be. Even if something happened to McCain, Palin would be ready before Obama. He has NO executive experience!

Star20 on September 15, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Here Here! That is exactly my take.

petunia on September 15, 2008 at 3:41 PM

That’s not the only provocative trend, though. From a Rasmussen poll taken September 1, three days after Palin was chosen:

Interesting. Many battleground states are moving in favor of McCain and the one posting those polls is Ed. But get this “from a Rasmussen poll taken September 1, three days after Palin was chosen” that has negatives for Palin and viola I didn’t even really need to scroll up to see who posted this one. Thanks for the insight into how independent voters felt about Palin 3 days after figuring out that she even exists.

Moving right along…

Sultry Beauty on September 15, 2008 at 4:26 PM

Hey

AP – What do you mean the “photos don’t lie”. Lots of photos lie, including the one you linked.
connertown on September 15, 2008 at 1:39 PM

I always knew AP was a compulsive pessimist and quasi-agitator. Now it’s clear our friend is going borderline-deceptive to be so.

I’ve said it before: Don’t read what AP writes. Focus on text boxes and links.

Sultry Beauty on September 15, 2008 at 4:26 PM

Point!

—-

It was a “whole new race” after McCain knocked down Hussein’s celebrity status and established his lack of experience. It was a “whole new race” after Palin’s selection and the conventions. Now we are seeing the settling out of both disappointments and euphorias, and the results of a week that offered good and bad to both sides.

On Palin’s numbers, it was calculated that people would see a specific lack of preparation in her. Those early numbers reflected part of the euphoria, and thus were bound to go down.

Now you understand why some of us said not to get cocky.

Tommygun on September 15, 2008 at 4:28 PM