Video: Luntz Focus Group on Palin



A few things are interesting about this clip showing a focus group run by Frank Luntz with Minnesota voters on behalf of the AARP. First, when Luntz asks the participants to name the first things that come to mind about Palin, you notice that no one mentions issues or her stand on them whether it is climate change, abortion, stem cell research, taxes etc.

Instead, with the miserly public, the first thing that comes to mind are aspects of her personal narrative and identity. Moreover, the metaphors and frame devices that have dominated the campaign to date are applied to Palin to make sense of her choice. As one focus group participant says: "She's not ready for the 3AM phone call."

As another female participant who was leaning towards McCain says: "Raising five kids in the White House, if need be....she's a mother than not a president."

Second, as is clear from this focus group, the celebrity of Palin and her influence on independent voters is not a slam dunk. In fact, as recent polls show, Palin if anything is a base mobilizer on the right and the left, and her impact on undecideds remains unclear.

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