Sunday, September 07, 2008

I See Dead People

When I watched the Republican National Convention, what is most striking is what I don't see.

I don't see a packed hall, possibly because Ron Paul pulled 10,000 into his competing rally.

I don't see many non-white faces.

I don't see enthusiasm, except for the images of the dead and the descriptions of torture.

Then there's Sarah Palin. A pick that the Base and some loyal syncophants in the press will love, and will turn off everyone else.

It's been a week now, and while it will take a while for the polls to settle down, interviews with such small town, blue collar voters that might have been persuaded shows that they have not been.

It is premature to pronounce this party down for the count, of course. But it has been traditional for the primary winner to swing wide, having secured their base. Now is the time they reach out to as-yet uncommitted voters.

But the McCain campaign didn't do that. They pulled in, and made a pick that was meant to secure their base.

This is a campaign in trouble.

No matter how they court hernias to spin how this is all "good for Republicans," that's a clear sign of trouble to all savvy watchers.

So now they know they are not fooling insiders. This unmistakable signal of weakness, coupled with denying access to the vice presidential candidate, will increase press hostility.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

This is the slow grind of attrition, the horror of being behind. It doesn't matter when the contest is starting out, but scrambling to stop a slow bleed at this point, right after the convention, is a danger sign.

In the 26 states and the District of Columbia where registration data were available, the total number of registered Democrats increased by 214,656, while the number of Republicans fell by 1,407,971. | Voters abandon GOP for Dems, 8/5/08

That's some astonishing numbers. It's clear that a lot of people want to be Democrats... and an awful lot of people don't want to be Republicans.

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