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Sep 9, 2008

Palin Lifts McCain's Support - Race Dead Even

Palin Lifts McCain's Support

September 10, 2008

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate has shaken up the presidential race, lifting enthusiasm among his once-subdued supporters and boosting the ticket's appeal with women, rural voters and Southerners.

The new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll also shows that a majority of voters say they are comfortable with the idea of the first-term Alaska governor as vice president, despite a national debate over whether she is experienced enough for the job.

The Palin effect helps explain why Sen. McCain is now even with Sen. Barack Obama in the head-to-head race. With eight weeks until Election Day, the Journal survey found a dead heat: 46% of registered voters favor Sens. Obama and Joe Biden, and 45% favor the McCain-Palin ticket. The lift, if it grows, could also help other Republicans, particularly in close Senate races in the South.

The poll was taken beginning on Saturday -- two days after the end of the Republican National Convention ended in St. Paul, Minn. -- through Monday night. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points, meaning either candidate could be slightly ahead.

The survey also had good news for Sen. Obama, showing that he improved his standing with the electorate in areas where he had been seen as weak. More voters said they were comfortable with him as president than they did in a Journal poll three weeks ago, and a higher proportion said they were confident in his ability to be commander in chief. A growing number also said they can identify with his values and background.

[Obama and McCain campaign trail photos ]
Reuters (Obama); Associated Press (McCain)
Running in tandem: With the U.S. presidential race in a virtual dead heat, Sen. Barack Obama, left, and Sen. John McCain campaigned in Ohio Tuesday.

Despite the McCain-Palin bounce, Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducts the poll with Republican Neil Newhouse, offered a caution for the Republicans. He noted that voters are just getting to know Gov. Palin: "The faster they rise, the steeper the descent."...

Obama Turns Up Heat on Palin

September 9, 2008 10:08 p.m.

LEBANON, Va. -- Barack Obama tried to reclaim his message of change on Tuesday as he confronts a sudden shift in momentum in the race sparked by Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

"You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," Sen. Obama said during a town hall style event in Lebanon, Virginia. The comment was a reference to Gov. Palin's joke during the Republican National Convention that lipstick is the only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom.

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