Poll finds growing skepticism of Palin experience | Reuters Poll finds growing skepticism of Palin experience Thu Oct 2, 2008 7:34am EDT WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A growing proportion of U.S. voters question Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's readiness for the job, according to a national opinion poll reported by The Washington Post on Thursday. The poll results came as the Alaska governor prepared to face Democrat Joe Biden in the only vice presidential debate before the November 4 election. About half of all voters surveyed said they were uncomfortable with the idea of Republican presidential nominee John McCain taking office at age 72, and 85 percent of those voters said Palin does not have the experience needed to be president, according to The Washington Post/ABC News poll. Sixty percent said Palin did not have the experience to be president, up from 45 percent in a similar survey a month ago, the Post said. About four in 10 conservatives and white evangelical Protestants, three in 10 Republicans and a quarter of Republican women said Palin does not have the necessary experience, the Post said. A month ago, before she appeared in a series of television interviews, voters rated Palin as highly as they did McCain or Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the newspaper said. The biggest shift on Palin has come among independents, a crucial voting group. In early September, independents were divided on Palin's experience; now they take the negative view by about 2 to 1, the Post reported. A third of independent voters now indicate they are less likely to support McCain because of Palin, compared with 20 percent who said so in an ABC poll a month ago, the Post said. Overall, 51 percent of voters view Palin favorably; for Biden, that ratio is 57 percent. On the understanding of complex issues, Palin runs far behind Biden, a six-term senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. About three-quarters of those surveyed said he understands complex issues, compared with 46 percent who said so of her, the poll found. The telephone poll of 1,070 registered voters was conducted Thursday through Saturday and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.