Public divided on Palin

September 5, 2008

Vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is a hit among Republicans, but a new poll out today suggests she has quite a bit of work to do to convince Americans she’s ready for the big time.

Half of those surveyed said they don’t believe the first-term Alaska governor has the experience to be president, while 42 percent do, according to the ABC News survey. Her opposite number on the Democratic side, veteran Senator Joe Biden, is viewed to have president-ready experience by 66 percent of those surveyed.

While half of Americans have a favorable opinion of Palin, who burst onto the national political stage a week ago when John McCain announced his surprise pick, 85 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of independents do, the poll found. Biden’s favorability rating is only slightly higher at 54 percent.

The numbers on the potential impact of the selections are also similar: 25 percent said Palin makes it more likely they will vote for McCain and 19 percent said it makes it less likely. For Biden, 22 percent said it make it more likely they will vote for Obama, while 10 percent said it made it less likely.

Finally, 43 percent said the choice of Palin makes them more confident in McCain’s decision-making, while 38 percent said it makes them less confident in his judgment, the poll found.

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