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 has shown.The first thing that should have been reported is that the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group conducts research on behalf of the Democratic Party:
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, the poll conducted by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group showed.
"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 per cent - 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 favourable 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 per cent of women voters polled said they would vote for the all-male Democratic ticket of Obama and Joe Biden, while just 41 per cent said they would back McCain and Palin in the November election.
The Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, the political division of Peter D. Hart Research Associates, is one of the most respected and successful political polling firms in the country for Democratic candidates. The firm has assisted in more than 400 political campaigns and counts among its current clients 10 members of the U.S. Senate, 16 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and five sitting governors. Garin-Hart-Yang also has been the lead pollster on the influential Women's Monitor national polling projects for EMILY's List over the past four election cycles.The second thing not reported is that if 52 percent of women voting Democratic is almost exactly the figure that the Democratic Party has polled in recent elections.
While we enjoyed much success in 2006--helping to unseat an incumbent senator, governor, and a number of House members, among many other victories--Garin-Hart-Yang has a strong record of helping Democratic candidates win under the most difficult circumstances, as well. For example, in the 2004 election cycle, we conducted the polling and provided the strategic advice that helped Governor Easley of North Carolina become the first Democratic governor from the South to be reelected since 1996. In 2002, we helped then-Congressman Rod Blagojevich win an upset victory in the Illinois Democratic primary for governor against two better-known and more experienced opponents, and then we helped him get elected as Illinois' first Democratic governor since 1976. In 2000, we helped the late Governor Frank O'Bannon win a strong reelection victory while George W. Bush was carrying Indiana by 16 points. In 1998, we were the pollsters for little-known Democratic state legislator Jim Hodges' upset victory over Republican Governor David Beasley of South Carolina. And in 1994, we helped the late Governor Lawton Chiles beat back a tough challenge from Jeb Bush in a strong Republican year.
Sarah Palin is clearly having a positive effect for the McCain campaign but you'd struggle to know that given the attacks from the mainstream media.