Remember the PUMA's? The hard-line supporters, particularly of Hillary Clinton, who were heard saying "Party Unity My A**" and vowed to vote Republican when their candidate lost the nomination?
A new poll out from North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling takes a look at the unity gap that appeared to be emerging, particularly among Democrats and concludes this: "Any PUMA effect that may have been present in summer polling is long gone in the post-convention period.''
They find that in Florida, where the unity gap was among the widest in the summer with Barack Obama getting 76 percent of the registered Dems to John McCain's 84 percent among registered Republicans, the numbers have tightened significantly. Now, 81 percent of the registered Dems in Florida say they'll vote Obama, compared to 15 percent that will vote McCain. Meanwhile, 84 percent of Republicans in Florida say they'll vote McCain while 11 percent say they'll vote Obama.
Across the nation, McCain has held onto voters of his own party but the unity gap has shrunk from 14 points to one point as Obama's support among Dems has grown.
Tom Jensen, the poll's director, adds this interesting insight: "One thing these numbers speak to is why Sarah Palin was such a poor choice of running mate for John McCain. For all the claims that she has motivated the Republican base the reality is that, enthusiastic about him or not, Republicans were already unified behind McCain before the convention. They would have come out to vote for him anyway..." Read more here: Download pumareport.pdf