(AFP) – Sep 3, 2008
ST PAUL, Minnesota (AFP) — Women voters remain unswayed by the Republican choice of anti-abortion, devout Christian Sarah Palin for vice president, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
White House hopeful John McCain electrified his party's conservative base by naming Palin, a 44-year-old mother of five and Alaska governor, as his running mate on Friday.
But 52 percent of voters polled in a survey for the women's activist group Emily's List said they would vote for the Democrat ticket of Barack Obama and his VP choice Joseph Biden, against 41 for the Republicans.
"If John McCain thought putting Sarah Palin on the ticket would be a game changer, he may have been right but not in the way he intended," said the group's president Ellen Malcolm.
"Senator McCain has seriously misjudged women voters if he thinks he can win them over simply by putting a woman on the ticket," she said.
"Women voters take their votes seriously and the more they learn about Governor Palin, the less likely they are to support the McCain-Palin ticket."
The poll, carried out by random dialing of 800 women on Sunday and Monday, shows that 50 percent of women voters felt McCain picked Palin out of political expediency and not because he believes she has the experience to do the job.
Only 29 percent said he had picked her to run in the November 4 elections because he believed she was qualified to be vice president.
And when asked which ticket had the most experience to run the country, 52 percent opted for the Democrats compared to 37 percent for the Republicans.
Obama, a young senator from Illinois, has been under fire for months from Republicans for his perceived lack of government experience compared to McCain, a Vietnam veteran who has worked in Congress for more than two decades.
In a similar poll conducted in August, McCain had a 35 point lead over Obama, said Geoff Garin, from pollsters Garin-Hart-Yang.
"To lose the experience argument is really devastating for the McCain campaign. Not just now but over the long haul in the next two months," Garin said.
In comparison, 50 percent of women voters believed that Obama had chosen Biden to be his running mate because of the Delaware senator's experience.
The poll also showed that Palin would fail to sway disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters still angered that she was locked out of the Democratic ticket.
Some 45 percent of Clinton fans thought Palin was not very attractive as a candidate, and 55 percent said they would not be voting for McCain.
Only nine percent of Clinton supporters said they thought they would vote Republican because Palin was on the ticket.
By comparison some 41 percent said Biden was a more attractive option as vice president.
Asked which ticket understood better the issues and concerns which are important to women, 53 percent opted for the Obama-Biden ticket compared to 35 percent for McCain and Palin.
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