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Dem poll: Most US women voters 'unimpressed' by McCain's VP pick
Published: Thursday September 4, 2008

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WASHINGTON - Most US women are unimpressed by Republican John McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, and have thrown their weight behind the Democratic ticket in the race for the White House, a national poll showed Wednesday.

Six in 10 women voters see McCain's choice of a female running mate as a calculated political decision rather than one based on Palin's experience and qualities, showed the poll conducted by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group.

Garin-Hart-Yang caters to a Democratic clientele. Claims the company's Web site: "Garin-Hart-Yang has a strong record of helping Democratic candidates win under the most difficult circumstances..."

"Women voters see the choice of Governor Palin as being driven by politics rather than by any sense of conviction on Senator McCain's part that she has the experience and qualities to make a good vice president," the research group said in a statement.

A majority of the 800 women polled -- 56 percent -- said they were put off by Palin's legislative record and her position on moral issues, such as abortion.

"When women voters learn that Palin opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest, opposes stem cell research and, as governor, opposed funding for state pre-kindergarten programs... a majority say... (they) feel less favorable toward her," the poll showed.

Palin's scant experience as an elected official -- she was mayor of a small town for six years and has been governor of Alaska for less than two -- "squanders" McCain's advantage over Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in terms of experience in office and readiness to lead, the women voters said.

And even though the choice of Palin was a historic move for the Republican party, marking the first time a woman has featured on a Republican presidential ticket, it has pushed many women voters over to the side of the Democrats.

Fifty-two percent of women voters polled said they would vote for the all-male Democratic ticket of Obama and Joe Biden, while just 41 percent said they would back McCain and Palin in the November election.

(with wire reports)