Palin choice as running mate hurting McCain chances: poll

November 1st, 2008 - 12:24 am ICT by IANS  

Sarah PalinNew York, Oct 31 (IANS) A majority of US voters believe Sarah Palin is not qualified to be vice-president, and that choosing her as his running mate has hurt the chances of Republican nominee John McCain entering the White House, a new opinion poll has shown days before the Nov 4 election. As many as 59 percent of voters surveyed in the latest New York Times/CBS News poll said the Alaska governor was not prepared for the job, up 9 percentage points since the beginning of October.

Nearly a third of voters polled said the selection of vice-presidential candidate would be a major factor influencing their vote for president. And they broadly favoured Barack Obama, McCain’s Democratic rival. Roughly three-quarters of voters saw Obama’s running mate, Joseph R. Biden, as qualified for the job.

Indicating that the choice of Palin has hurt McCain’s image, voters also said they had much more confidence in Obama to pick qualified people for his administration than they did in McCain.

Twelve percent of the voters surveyed said they had already voted.

The poll result showed Obama is maintaining his lead, with 51 percent of likely voters supporting him and 40 percent supporting McCain in a head-to-head match-up.

McCain’s focus on taxes, including his constant talk about Joe the Plumber, seems to be having some effect, as a growing number of voters now say McCain’s administration would not raise their taxes.

Obama continues to have a significant advantage on key issues like the economy, health care and the war in Iraq.

Some perceptions of race are changing, with increase in the number of people who believe that white and black people have an equal chance of getting ahead in America today.

The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Saturday through Wednesday with 1,439 adults nationwide, including 1,308 registered voters and published in the New York Times Friday.

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