Thursday, October 02, 2008

Luntz Focus Group Declares Palin a Huge Winner in the Debate

I've seen this mentioned many times now, from multiple blogs so I thought it was worthy of a link. A focus group by Frank Luntz found Palin to be a blowout winner in the debate tonight. This results was covered at Hot Air, Wizbang, Hugh Hewitt, Powerline, and Volokh Conspiracy.

Color me skeptical that this will make any difference.

As Hot Air noted, CBS and MSNBC conducted their own completely unbiased and scientific reaction polls and found Biden to be the huge, huge winner--especially with independent voters making the loss even more devastating for Team McCain. I'm sure you are just shocked by their findings.

Luntz is predicting a shift in the polls towards McCain because of the VP debate. Really? I think one can lose a debate spectacularly and cause a shift--though VP's are largely irrelevant. In any case, while Palin may have won, Biden did just fine on his own, so I find predictions of a major shift in polls dubious at best.

To be fair, there is one way that polls might shift. A number of polls have shown a shift in numbers towards Obama not because Obama's support with Democrats or independents are up but because Republican enthusiasm is down. That is, Republicans are doubtful of McCain's chances and have stopped participating in polls. Just surveying the conservative blogs, you can see Palin's performance has them talking again--and not negatively. If that enthusiasm carries to the rest of the party, a shift in poll results could indeed be seen. But that speaks more to the (lack of) accuracy of the polls and not to independents sweeping to support Palin based on her debate performance.

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