Michigan "independent" in much-linked Palin focus group is ... a Cindy Sheehan supporter; Update: More fake independents?

Go figure, huh? Why, it’s even stranger than finding the media mistaking a Democrat for a “lifelong Republicans.”

Or Andrew Sullivan for someone who’s “right-leaning.”

Ilene Beninson, 52, Berkley independent: “Her speech contained few statements about policy or the party platform. … I am not convinced that Palin’s experience as a mayor or governor in Alaska meet the qualifications to be vice president much less one stroke or heart attack away from being commander in chief.”

Maybe Beninson’s in line with independent thinking notwithstanding her affinity for Mother Sheehan, though. Who knows?

Actually, I do. Palinmania:

After viewing Palin’s speech, a greater number of respondents across all parties believe that selecting

Governor Sarah Palin for vice president will help John McCain’s campaign. Republicans were especially positive about the implications of this pick, nearly three-quarters of whom suggest that this nomination will “definitely help” his campaign. After viewing the speech, 70% Republicans say they will “definitely” vote for the McCain/Palin ticket after viewing Palin’s speech.

There is a positive change in how independents anticipate voting in the Presidential election after viewing Palin’s speech, with a 9% increase among independents indicating that they will probably or definitely vote for the McCain/Palin ticket after watching the speech.

Palin’s speech proved to be equally effective in swaying votes for both men and women. Among the independents who watched her speech, respondents who report that they will “probably” or “definitely” vote for McCain increased by 10% across both genders, around 38% of female independents and 36% of their male counterparts.

Exit question: On a scale from one to 10, with one representing utter despair and 10 representing very cautious pessimism with strong hints of doubt, where should the big A’s mood meter regarding the GOP’s chances be set this afternoon? (Answer: Seven!)

Update: Har. Reader Ex-Tex e-mails to point out that another “independent” in the focus group is listed as a contact for the Detroit chapter of an anti-war group and, less persuasively perhaps, yet another is connected to an anti-war “social justice” church group. Can’t rule out a case of mistaken identity, but the names of each seem reasonably unique. I’m not going to ID them or link to the pages just because there’s contact information available at the sites, and inevitably when these sorts of stories pop up on the left or right, a few jackass readers will use the info to send hate mail. I don’t want to take any (admittedly small) chance of that happening here, so just take my word for it: The names are the same.