FAIRFAX, Va. -- All election season I've been saying if you want to find parking, go to a Republican campaign event. That's because ever since Iowa, the crowd sizes at Republican candidate rallies have paled in comparison to what the Democrats draw. But that was in the pre-Palin era. Now everything has changed, and suddenly Obama-like crowds are following Republicans.
Arriving at the rally an hour ahead of time, we had to cricle around for 15 minutes just to find paking a half a mile away from the event, on a residential street. The line to get into the rally, which was held at a local park, extended for several blocks, and by the time I got in I saw thousands of people fanning out all over the park from the stage.
It's amazing how much Palin has become the focus of these McCain events. The most popular chant was "SA-RAH!" "SAR-AH!" "SAR-AH!" I saw one man with a "Sarah! Will you marry me?" sign, another that read "Read my lipstick: Baseball and Soccer Mom for McCain-Palin" and another that read "She's Our Girl."
In the same poll at the end of July, McCain was up by just one point.
And Palin seems to be helping:
McCain's running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is viewed favorably by 59% of Montana voters, a figure that includes 44% with a Very Favorable opinion of her. This is the sixth Rasmussen Reports state poll released since Palin was selected as McCain's Vice Presidential nominee and in all six her Very Favorable ratings have topped 40%. None of the other candidates on the national ticket have reached that level in any of the states.
LEBANON, Ohio -- During his speech here, John McCain spotted a sign in the crowd. "Hold up that sign," he said, reading it for the benefit of the crowd: "Drill, Baby, Drill!"
The candidate's mention of offshore drilling prompted some in the crowd to shout, "ANWR! ANWR!" McCain has opposed drilling ANWR, which his Alaskan running mate staunchly supports.
If the enthusiasm of this crowd (officially estimated at 5,500) is any indication, the Obama campaign is wasting its resources trying to flip Ohio from red to blue.