Polling Tidbits: Sarah Palin Now Least Popular of the Big Four

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

If Democrats are good at anything its wailing, beating their chests, and tearing their garments (no, that isn’t like “flagging the molecules”). But it’s clear now the despair over Obama’s supposedly doomed presidential chances was silly. The main reason? Palin is simply not the giant-killer we thought she was. Take a look at this chart (via Wonkette). Due to weeks of unrelenting vetting by the media (i.e. sustained negative press), she now has the lowest approval rating of any member of either ticket.


And this is the end-result of hiding her from the press. Can you imagine what would have happened if the McCain campaign had treated her like an adult and put her in front of reporters?

In other numbers-related news, the quant geeks over at FiveThirtyEight.com report that the possibility of a 269-269 electoral tie is climbing. The reason is relatively simple: the election is nearing but the race is still close in key states, meaning that the likelihood of one of the two candidates winning in a blowout is going down. FiveThirtyEight points to one tie scenario above all others:

…there is one specific scenario that is driving this outcome. That is the scenario wherein Barack Obama wins the Kerry states plus Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado, but loses New Hampshire. Of the 320 times that our simulation ended in a tie, this particular scenario was responsible 294 times. Indeed, we presently have Obama winning precisely the Kerry states plus Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado, so all that would be needed to make a tie occur is to flip New Hampshire back to McCain, and entirely reasonable possibility.

What an absolute horror show that would be.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend