Partisanship not gender paramount in public opinion on Palin

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Washington, Sep 6 : Republicans and Democrats have been deeply contrasting first impressions of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, suggesting partisanship, not gender, is paramount in the initial public reviews.

Overall, Alsaka Governor Palin, the first woman to run on a Republican presidential ticket, gets positive marks in a new ABC News national poll, despite broad skepticism that she has the necessary experience to serve as president.

Most Americans approve of her selection, and six in 10 of those polled said she made the right call to join the contest, the Washington Post reported.

"I think it's great that we finally have a woman candidate that can be vice president," Margaret Brown, a 22-year-old Texan, said in a telephone interview. "She's likable, and she's not like a Washington insider."

Half of all those polled view Palin favorably and 37 percent hold negative opinions. Men are somewhat more apt to view her favorably, but that is mainly because women are far more likely to be Democrats.

In the new poll, it is underlying political attitudes that appear to dominate, just as they do in ratings of Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Eighty-five percent of Republicans view Palin favorably, and nearly nine in 10 approve of her selection as John McCain's running mate.

Among Democrats, 24 percent view her favorably and 57 percent disapprove of her selection.

Palin's ratings are highest among the groups already likely to be in the Republican camp, limiting the potential impact of the choice.

Among conservative Republicans, 89 percent view her favorably, as do 81 percent of white evangelical Protestants. In both groups, large majorities hold "strongly favorable" opinions.

ANI

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