October 31, 2008 Growing Doubts on Palin Take a Toll, Poll Finds By MICHAEL COOPER and DALIA SUSSMAN http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/31/u...p=1&adxnnlx=1225491426-aywxRdWevBgrptHWHYHVdA A growing number of voters have concluded that Senator John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, is not qualified to be vice president, weighing down the Republican ticket in the last days of the campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. All told, 59 percent of voters surveyed said Ms. Palin was not prepared for the job, up nine percentage points since the beginning of the month. Nearly a third of voters polled said the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor influencing their vote for president, and those voters broadly favor Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee. And in a possible indication that the choice of Ms. Palin has hurt Mr. McCain’s image, voters said they had much more confidence in Mr. Obama to pick qualified people for his administration than they did in Mr. McCain. Bolstered by the fiscal crisis and deep concerns about the direction of the country, Mr. Obama has seemed to solidify the support he has gained in recent months. When likely voters were asked whom they would vote for in an expanded field that included several third-party candidates, Mr. Obama got the support of 52 percent of them, Mr. McCain 39 percent, Bob Barr 1 percent, and Ralph Nader 2 percent.