The Palin Effect has rallied white Republican women; Obama gains with other groups:
A Gallup release today demonstrated that compared to an August average, McCain's support post-Palin has increased with white Republican women (+5 change in McCain). There has been no movement with Republican men (+1).
By contrast, Democrats and independents across gender lines move toward Obama post-Palin. This movement has mostly been larger than McCain's movement among Republican women (independent men: +7 Obama; independent women: +5; Democratic men and women: +8 each). In fact, Obama now leads with white independent women (46% Obama, 39% McCain).
Among women, Obama-Biden now have the advantage in "experience"
According to a new EMILY's List Women's Monitor survey of women (conducted 8/31 to 9/1), the Obama-Biden ticket now has the advantage on "experience." In their last Women's Monitor from early August, half (51%) of women said "having the experience, background, and knowledge to be President" described McCain better, compared to 16% saying it described Obama better.
In this current survey, the numbers are now almost reversed. Over half (52%) say the Obama-Biden ticket has more experience, while only 37% say McCain-Palin is more experienced. Not only did the Palin pick negate McCain's experience "argument," as many commented, but it actually completely erased McCain's advantage, among women, in just a few short weeks.
Women do not just use candidate gender to decide who represents them
During the Democratic primaries I noted that Hillary Clinton voters were even more likely to weigh the issues when making their choice. The Women's Monitor results confirm this pattern--gender alone won't move women voters to McCain-Palin. (At least among non-Republicans.)
Majorities of women said Palin's positions on issues such as abortion, education, and stem-cell research made them more unfavorable toward her (56%, 55%, and 52%, respectively). In fact, a majority of women (53%) say Obama-Biden is more in touch with the issues that affect women than is McCain-Palin (35%).
The McCain campaign recently proffered "this campaign is not about issues." Indeed, Palin's speech last Friday attempted to attract Hillary Clinton supporters, offering an identical gender as opposed to a similar platform. These results, however, show that issues do matter to women voters.