I linked the data earlier in another post but didn’t note this fun factoid.

While Republicans and Democrats predictably favor their party’s candidate by overwhelming margins, the experience gap among voters unaffiliated with either party is even narrower than the national totals. Forty-two percent (42%) say Obama has better experience to be president, but 37% say Palin does.

The potential problem for Democrats is that Obama, the junior U.S. senator from Illinois and a former state legislator, is the party’s standard-bearer, while Palin, an ex-mayor and now governor of Alaska, is number two on her party’s ticket.

That is a potential problem, isn’t it? Obama leads 49/39 when all voters are counted and since unaffiliateds are likely to include more disaffected conservatives than liberals these days it’s probably safe to assume that those numbers are a tiny bit influenced by ideology. But the point I made yesterday and which Goldstein explores at greater length today abides: The more the media craps on her qualifications, the more The One comes in for uncomfortable compare-and-contrast scrutiny of his own, which may actually be her greatest asset to the ticket. To the extent that McCain chose her with an eye to deliberately inciting those comparisons then it was and is a cynical strategy, a sort of kamikaze move in ceding his own number-two slot to someone who’s not ready simply to throw a spotlight on the other side. Why it’s more cynical than nominating a guy for the number-one slot who looks the part, gives a good-ish speech, and otherwise has done jack utterly escapes me, but watch the left go around stamping its feet about the Palin pick and you’ll be half-convinced McCain’s committed an act of treason.

The irony is that by racing past simple investigation and trying to make her lack of experience a subject worthy of out-and-out yokel-ish ridicule, the media’s made it that much easier to reflect the derision onto Barry O. Hey, did you know he asked a question about Afghanistan in a committee meeting once? For realsies. Just ask his running mate.

Update: How harsh is that spotlight McCain’s thrown on him? Harsh enough that he and Biden have to pretend her credentials are actually even less than they are to make Obama look good by comparison. First The One discussed her as though she were still the mayor of Wasilla, now this:

“And the other thing I heard, I heard a very – by the way, I mean this sincerely – a very strong and a very good political speech from a lieutenant governor of Alaska, who I think is going to be very formidable, very formidable.”