.- A Zogby Interactive online poll of likely voters conducted in the aftermath of the announcement of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as Sen. John McCain’s running mate reports that most respondents believe the Palin pick will help McCain, as do Catholic respondents in particular.
The survey report claims the presidential race is a “dead heat,” with the McCain/Palin ticket leading the Obama/Biden ticket at a rate of 47 percent to 45 percent of voters, a statistical tie.
Asked whether the selection of Sarah Palin helps or hurts Republican Sen. McCain’s chances of victory in the November elections, 52 percent of the online respondents believe the choice helps his chances, 29 percent believe it hurts them, while ten percent believe it makes no difference.
By comparison, a Zogby poll conducted in the aftermath of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s selection of Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden showed that 43 percent of poll respondents believed the action helped Obama, while 23 percent believed it hurt him.
Stephanie DeVries, Zogby assistant director of communications, told CNA in an e-mail on Tuesday that the Catholic sample for the poll was 526 respondents. The statistical breakdown shows Catholics giving answers similar to those of the respondents as a whole.
At a rate of 54 percent, Catholic respondents believe McCain’s choice of Palin would help the Republican ticket, while 31 percent believe it would hurt the campaign. Seven percent believed it would not make a difference.
The Zogby Interactive online poll included 2,020 likely voters nationwide and claims a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.
According to the interactive survey, 22 percent of voters who supported Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary elections or caucus are now supporting the Republican McCain. Further, 62 percent of self-described weekly shoppers at Wal-Mart support McCain, while Obama wins only 24 percent of their support.
The last group of voters is, according to Zogby International, both “value” and “values” voters.
John Zogby, speaking in a Zogby International press release, said politically independent women will be a “very important demographic” in the upcoming election, saying the survey shows 15 percent of them to be undecided voters.
“This contest is likely to be very close until the weekend before the election - then the dam may break and support may flood one way or the other,” he claimed.