Mark Tapscott is predicting a Palin win. His reasons all make good sense. After all the attempts to paint her as Dan Quayle in a dress, the expectations for her performance are pretty low. If she is relaxed I think she will be as successful as she was in her convention speech. If she tenses up and tries too hard to parse her answers in fear of making a mistake, she will come across exactly as she did in the Gibson and Couric interviews. One huge advantage to the debate, as opposed to those interviews, is that tonight will be live and unedited. That is a huge deal for any Republican and the reason I constantly harp on how important it is for Republicans to take advantage of any opportunity to speak directly to the American people without the media filtering it. She is very likeable when she is relaxed — think about how she came across in the different segments of the Gibson interview. When they were walking outside she was relaxed and spoke off the cuff quite well. When she was sitting in a stiff chair, in front of a bunch of television lights and cameras being stared down by Professor Gibson, she tensed up. What might be more of a mystery is how Joe Biden will do. If the man can get through the entire debate without sticking his foot in his mouth or sounding like a pompous ass, it will be quite an accomplishment.
Update: Here is a great piece on Sarah Palin and the integrity gap in the race.