Palin said the wardrobe controversy was fueled by gender bias.
However, her overall favorability rating -- the most basic measure of a public figure's popularity -- has fallen more steeply among women, by 17 points, and among white women, by 21 points, than it has among men, an eight-point drop.
At her peak, after the Republican convention, 59 percent of likely voters held an overall favorable opinion of Palin.
Now that's down to 46 percent, while 51 percent see her unfavorably. Majority disfavor is danger for any public figure; so is its intensity -- and an unusually large 40 percent have a "strongly" unfavorable opinion of Palin.
Men now divide about evenly on Palin, 51-46 percent favorable-unfavorable, down from 59-24 percent Sept. 7. Women, though, have gone from 58-33 percent then to 41-56 percent now, currently viewing her unfavorably by a 15-point margin.
Another group in which Palin's rating has fallen especially steeply is among mainline or nonevangelical white Protestants -- a 24-point drop, from 70 percent favorable in early September to 46 percent today.
This is the same usually pro-Republican group that has moved toward Obama, now supporting him by a 10-point margin, enough to counteract his shortfall among usually swing-voting white Catholics.
Palin's also lost ground on her main stake, the common touch -- a 10-point drop in the number who believe she "understands the problems of people like you." (Again, the decline has occurred disproportionately among women.)
And about six in 10 likely voters continue to say she lacks the experience to serve effectively as president.