Monday, September 15, 2008

Signs that 'Palin effect' is wearing thin

Signs that 'Palin effect' is wearing thin
By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Monday, 15 September 2008

There are growing signs that the "Sarah Palin effect" is starting to wear off and that the Republican candidate John McCain has already peaked.

Democrats took heart from four national opinion polls which show that despite the phenomenal bounce caused by interest in Alaska's Governor Palin, Mr McCain now leads by an average of just 0.25 points, his smallest margin since the convention.

The latest polls come amid a flurry of critical news reports into Mrs Palin which reveal a large credibility about some of her claims to be a squeaky clean reformist. Senator McCain’s claims that his running mate had not sought special interest funding from Congress have been shown to be completely wrong.

It emerged yesterday that she asked US to fund $453 million worth of projects in oil rich Alaska for the past two years. Among the requests was $4.5 million for an airport serving less than 100 people on a Bering sea island and $9 million to help Alaska’s already hugely profitable oil companies.

Democrats quickly mocked the governor as "an earmark queen". The disclosures come on top of evidence that her administration also held onto more than $500 million in US federal funds for a much derided "bridge to nowhere" which she maintains she vetoed.

For two weeks the McCain campaign has wallowed in the media’s obsession with Governor Palin. A huge bounce in the opinion polls followed, with women especially declaring that they were changing their allegiance because they admired her so much.

But that appears to be changing as the focus of the election turns to the economy and especially the northern states. In Iowa new Des Moines register poll has Barack Obama with a comfortable lead of 12 points. He is also ahead in New Jersey, although it is not a battleground state.

Read the rest of the story:
Signs that 'Palin effect' is wearing thin

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