Pollster and focus group guru Frank Luntz brought his show to the Twin Cities from Denver to test the views of undecided voters on Sunday.
Only this time he had a whole new topic to talk about: GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska. As he asked some 25 undecided voters from the area what they thought of her, many expressed a desire to get to know her. "There's a lot of curiosity," said Luntz after hosting his focus group session on behalf of AARP. "She has triggered a lot of interest."
At one point he asked the participants to offer up a word or two to explain their reaction to Sen. John McCain's choice. Among them: weak, refreshing, hard worker, soccer mom, limited, inexperienced, fighter, guts, backbone, down to earth, and good looking. Most had not seen her initial statement when McCain unveiled his pick, so Luntz put it on TV and asked them to judge her words and performance using his famous "dial test." The test, in which users dial up to 100 or down to zero as they watch, hovered in the high 60s when she detailed her resume, a very respectable number, said Luntz. It surged to 75 when she told of fighting congressional earmarks for Alaska, like the so-called "bridge to nowhere," a reform campaign that is one of the reasons McCain chose her as the GOP vice presidential nominee. But the voters then said that the choice wasn't going to make them more likely to pick McCain as president. In fact, four of those leaning in McCain's direction say that they now are unsure who they will vote for, citing Palin's limited experience in government.