PPP (PDF). 9/20-21. Likely voters. MoE 3% (9/7-9 results)
McCain (R) 44 (46)
Obama (D) 51 (47)
A precipitous drop in Sarah Palin’s approval may be helping to fuel Obama’s gains. Immediately after the convention 41% of Colorado voters said that her selection made them more likely to vote for John McCain, compared to 38% who said it made them less likely to do so. Since then there’s been a 12 point drop in her net favorability. Now just 38% say that she makes them more likely to vote for the Republican, with 47% saying they’re less likely to do so.
“Barack Obama has greatly increased his lead with independents since we last polled Colorado,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “It seems like the more voters have learned about Sarah Palin the less they’ve liked her, and that’s allowed Obama to open up the largest lead he’s shown in a PPP poll of Colorado.”
Those who argued giving Palin a pass when she was wildly popular were wrong. While she's rallied the base and solidified states like North Dakota and Alaska for Palin, she is now toxic to independents and Democrats.
The movement over the last couple weeks has been particularly acute with independent voters. 56% of them say that the Palin choice makes them less likely to support McCain and what was a 49-38 lead for Obama with that group is now a 58-31 advantage.
Voters have "learned [more] about Sarah Palin" because we aggressively investigated her record and encouraged the traditional media to do the same (and they did a pretty darn good job). Giving her a pass because she was "too popular" or because it "took the focus off McCain" would have allowed her positive narrative to stick, allowing her popularity to continue propping up McCain. As I've said before, this is a tactic straight out of Taking on the System.
Instead of being an asset to the McCain effort, they're now forced to hide her, afraid of giving critics more ammunition to use against her (and, by extension, McCain).