CNN poll: 50% say Palin isn't qualified to be president

That’ll change, of course, as she does better or worse on the trail, but it ain’t the point you want to start from, needless to say. I don’t know what to make of the fact that Gallup’s poll yesterday answered this same question with a slim plurality saying she is qualified. Has opinion already shifted that much in 24 hours?

The good news: Maverick trails Obama only 49/48post-convention. Not only is that the highest percentage I can recall him pulling offhand, but it jibes with Gallup’s data showing Barry O already starting to lose some of his bounce (albeit still holding to a six-point lead). In other words, bizarrely, the doubts about her qualifications don’t seem to be hurting the appeal of the pick … yet. In fact, not only is she +17 in favorable/unfavorable with 41 percent undecided, but 57 percent say the pick reflects favorably on McCain’s judgment in making important presidential decisions. How on earth does that square with the majority who think she’s unqualified? Is she simply that personally appealing that they’re willing to roll the dice on someone they don’t necessarily trust as VP?

Maybe, yeah.

Feeling good now? Fired up and ready to go? Then let this pessimist stalwart crap all over that for you. Click the image below and skip ahead to 1:05:30 for some worrisomely bad vibes during the Palin segment of Frank Luntz’s Minnesota focus group this afternoon. Exit question: Should a blogger with nerves of tin really be covering this beat until November? Time to ask the boss to relegate me to gossip items and viral videos, yes?

Update: So much for identity politics: “Women now appear slightly more likely to vote for Obama than they did a week ago, 53 percent now, compared to 50 percent. But McCain picked up a couple of points among men. More important, McCain solidified his party’s base with the Palin selection, dropping Obama’s share of the Republican vote six points to just 5 percent now.”

Update: A reader e-mails to clarify: The 50 percent who say she’s unqualified is obviously a subset of the 59 percent overall who know enough about her to form an opinion. 41 percent don’t know enough about her yet to form any opinions.