A new poll for the influential Washington Post newspaper will make uncomfortable reading for Republican nominee Sarah Palin ahead of tonight’s vice-presidential debate with Democrat Joe Biden.
About half of those surveyed preferred him, saying he has more experience and understanding of issues.
That figure has risen dramatically in the past month, since Palin began a series of television interviews aimed at introducing her to US voters.
But Biden also has his critics, who say he can be long-winded and condescending.
Prof. Peter Kastor of Washington University said:
“Both of these candidates are loose cannons, and there is the sense that this debate could be very lively, that it might be completely unpredictable.”
The poll suggests voters are uncomfortable with Palin’s running-mate John McCain taking office at the age of 72, as Palin would be next in line.
It is expected to be a wide-ranging debate, but the financial crisis is sure to feature. The television audience could top the 52 million who watched McCain and Barack Obama last week.