Who Liked Palin?

03palin2_190 Jeremy Teigen of Recreational Poli Sci crunches the numbers to see who supported Palin in 2008. He looked at a sample of 458 Republicans and found that her support was slightly higher among older Republicans than younger Republicans. Her support was highest among the white and born-again. He was surprised that her support wasn't higher among gun-owners. And veterans didn't like her.

Check it out for the cool graph and ask him questions there. For more on the Palin mystique, The Monkey Cage took Douthat to task last week.

18 thoughts on “Who Liked Palin?

  1. Oh, I think it means something to grow up an unconnected-small town girl in Wasilla, and become the first woman governor of Alaska. That statement — success without the credentialing for Palin, and with credentialling, for Obama rang true for me.
    The problem, of course, with Palin, is that her lack of credentialling seems to reflect a lack of the intellectual curiosity I value in a leader. I don’t think it had to. I’m firmly convinced that intellectual curious people graduate from U of Alaska, and sometimes don’t graduate from anywhere at all. That’s why I was so disappointed in Palin, as a story.

  2. I wonder about Obama and his intellectual curiosity. It never seems to have led him anywhere that wasn’t either ideologically congenial or politically convenient.

  3. Maybe I’m taking your comment too literally, Amy, but he went to Pakistan when he was in his 20s. I don’t see how Pakistan at that time was ideologically congenial and it certainly isn’t very politically convenient now.
    What do you mean by “intellectual curiosity”?

  4. Wendy,
    Yes, you are being a bit literal.
    I think that intellectual curiosity requires minimally the ability to entertain ideas that are unpopular or taboo among your peers. Think six unconventional things before breakfast. And conversely, don’t be afraid to think true conventional thoughts (i.e. 9 times out of 10, the Russian government is up to no good). Here are some examples of unconventional thoughts (I’m 80% conventional, so I had to sweat over even a short list):
    Example: Gone With the Wind is a great American novel and ought to be taught in our schools.
    Example 2: American schools should use inexpensive translations of German or Russian or Asian math textbooks rather than attempting to invent the wheel over and over again with splashy, expensively produced, poorly thought-out curricula that have to be retooled repeatedly before they are abandoned in favor of the next new thing.
    Example 3: There are a lot of terrible French movies.

  5. I’m stunned by the negatives from veterans. I read that as an unwillingness to have someone unfamiliar with foreign policy in charge. Anyone else have a theory?

  6. jen,
    There were only 458 Republicans participating in the survey. That doesn’t seem quite enough and might explain anomalies like the low support among gun-owners and veterans.

  7. Amy, how could we begin to measure this about Obama? What kind of evidence would you accept? He could certainly be intellectually curious and not outspoken about it.
    And what do you consider “his peers”? The man is a Democrat who does not support same-sex marriage. Is he entertaining an idea that is unpopular among his peers? Uh, yeah. You will say that it’s just politically expedient for him not to support it. But you’ve created a nice little situation where you can accuse him of being politically expedient if he does exactly what you define as being intellectually curious. In short, he can’t win with you.
    To sum up, I think your claim here is incredibly weak. I am hardly an “Obama is the messiah” type, but the one thing I would never accuse him of is being intellectually incurious.

  8. Wendy,
    bj was the one to bring up “intellectual curiosity” in the very first comment in this thread. I dislike the term in political discussions just as much as you do, since I think it’s a cheap, unverifiable way to compliment a politician that you happen to like. Worst of all, it is awfully easy to believe in the intellectual worth of somebody who agrees with us (or that we think agrees with us).

  9. For interesting thoughts on the big O, I commend to everyone’s attention Hilzoy’s piece, from October of 2006. Here’s the key paragraph:
    “But I do follow legislation, at least on some issues, and I have been surprised by how often Senator Obama turns up, sponsoring or co-sponsoring really good legislation on some topic that isn’t wildly sexy, but does matter. His bills tend to have the following features: they are good and thoughtful bills that try to solve real problems; they are in general not terribly flashy; and they tend to focus on achieving solutions acceptable to all concerned, not by compromising on principle, but by genuinely trying to craft a solution that everyone can get behind.”
    Being Hilzoy, she then cites chapter and verse on numerous issues to support her argument.
    As for the topic of the post, I really really liked Palin as a leading figure within the Republican party. But I don’t think it would be difficult to divine why.

  10. Georgia is hot and not well air-conditioned. Everybody is about to decamp for Batumi before their brains melt completely. We’re headed there ourselves in a bit, and then to higher mountains. (Along the Georgian Military Highway, so yes, we are definitely thinking July will be quiet.)
    Anyway, the Georgian media are, alas, still impenetrable to me, so if you look at civil.ge you will be about as well informed as I am. That said, Misha (who’s in Lithuania just now) is pleased that the only explicit area of disagreement mentioned between the US and Russia was Georgia; Obama made time in his statement to reiterate that the US supports the territorial integrity of Georgia. Obama also said that his discussions of Georgia with Medvedev had been “frank,” the next best thing in diplo-speak to “full and frank,” which generally indicates thrown crockery.
    On the ever-popular other hand, Obama also clearly indicated where Georgia is on the US list of priorities in his administration: after nuclear disarmament, Afghanistan, non-proliferation in re Iran and North Korea. Much as I like Georgia, that’s a sensible set of priorities for the US. I hope that Misha gets that message, too.
    On the less-well-known other other hand, some signs of Abkhaz discontent. Russia has apparently been high-handed in setting up the details of guarding some of the self-declared external Abkhaz border, and is also presenting a different version of where the notional Russian-Abkhaz border lies. (Who’d’a thunk it, I know.) Anyway, not everybody who’s anybody in Abkhazia likes that approach. And as I read through the history of the region, I find that Abkhazia in particular has made its way by cozying up to one side of local power struggles and then shifting a bit when the embrace becomes too close, eventually changing partners. I don’t think that a new dance is about to begin, but complete subservience to Russia is not necessarily what all of the Abkhaz had in mind.

  11. If somebody is going to pull a new country out of their hat, they need to give it a name that doesn’t sound like it should follow “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of”.

  12. MH, they all sound like that down here: Svaneti, Mingrelia, Ratcha, Adjara, Samtskhe-Javakheti (ok, that one merely sounds unpronounceable), Colchis, Kartli, Kakheti, Tusheti, Khevsureti … It’s Potterdom all the way down.

  13. Maybe I should form a consulting business suggesting names for your country or ethnic group based on what will play in middle America.

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