Report Card: Was Picking Palin a Mistake?

Analysts discuss whether Palin has hurt John McCain's chances.

ByABC News
October 30, 2008, 5:43 PM

Oct. 30, 2008— -- With the presidential election just days away, and with the latest polls still favoring the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket, Republican VP pick Gov. Sarah Palin is still full steam ahead, gathering huge crowds from event to event to conduct the task that always falls into the lap of the vice presidential candidate -- attack.

Today, Palin took aim at Obama's primetime infomercial, which aired last night across six television networks and garnered 33.5 million viewers.

"He's [Obama's] hoping your mind won't wander to real challenges of national security, challenges he is incapable of meeting," she said.

Since early September, when Palin was picked by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as his running mate, she's become wildly popular with the Republican base, drawing huge crowds that often out-do McCain's. But lately, some are beginning to wonder if Palin has become a drag on the ticket.

"If John McCain wins on Tuesday, the short answer is no," ABC News' chief Washington correspondent, George Stephanopoulos, told "Nightline's" Cynthia McFadden. "If he loses, that's the question I'd most like an honest answer to.

"We know why she was picked," Stephanopoulos continued. "The campaign was looking for someone to solidify the Republican base, excite the Republican base and reach out to some voters in the middle, women and men who might be attracted to a reform candidate. She's the first female GOP candidate for vice president with working-class roots."

Stephanopoulos said the Palin selection may not have worked to attract some of the campaign's key targets.

"It didn't seem to work there, even though Sarah Palin is still popular with Republicans," he said. "When you look at the bottom line, Joe Biden helped Barack Obama with all voters. He made people feel better about Barack Obama. Sarah Palin has hurt John McCain with the broader electorate. It's shown in poll after poll after poll."