- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Sarah Palin pick for running mate about 16 hours after Barack Obama’s acceptance speech of the Democratic nomination is a gift John McCain gave to himself that doesn’t quit giving, a new Zogby poll shows.

“The McCain pick has probably stunted any Obama-Democratic Convention bump,” Mr. Zogby told The Washington Times.

His latest nationwide survey, begun Friday afternoon after the Mr. McCain announced Mrs. Palin, the governor of Alaska, as his running mate and completed mid-afternoon on Saturday, has the race in a statistical dead heat – with the McCain/Palin ticket at 47 percent, and the Obama-Joe Biden ticket at 45 percent.

Mr. Zogby said his interactive online poll shows Mr. Obama and Mrs. McCain “have solidified the support among their own parties.”

Mr. Obama won 86 percent of Democrats and Mr. McCain 89 percent of Republicans in a poll question that didn’t mention their running mates. With Mr. Biden and Mr. Palin added, the Democratic support remains at 86 percent but Mr. McCain’s jumps to 92 percent.

After the McCain vice presidential announcement, Mrs. Palin, the profile, pro-Second Amendment, anti-corruption governor of Alaska, “was almost immediately hailed as a strong conservative by voters who rallied to the GOP ticket our survey shows,” Mr. Zogby said.

“Governor Palin is not to be underestimated,” he said. “Her strength is that she authenticity. She’s a real mom, an outdoors person, small-town mayor. She has dealt with a small town city council, which alone could be preparation for staring down [Russian leader] Vladimir Putin.”

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