Here’s one big reason why Sarah Palin may not run for president in 2012: Her poll numbers are awful.
It’s possible for determined politicians to reverse poor ratings of public opinion. Hillary Clinton has done it, to a certain degree. And some experts say Ms. Palin’s current situation is similar to that faced by Secretary of State Clinton in the past.
Seventy percent of respondents to a CNN/Opinion Research poll said Palin is not qualified to be president.
And for Palin, the trend is going the wrong way. As Pollster.com’s compilation shows, her numbers have slid significantly this year, particularly following her resignation from Alaska’s governorship in July.
“Perceptions of Palin’s qualifications for the presidency are shockingly low for a former presidential/VP nominee -- there’s been no one comparable to her since Dan Quayle,” wrote Brendan Nyhan, an assistant professor of government at Dartmouth, in a recent Pollster.com commentary.
Palin continues to be a highly polarizing figure. Republicans are much less dismissive of her qualifications than Democrats or independents.
In the CBS survey released this week, 43 percent of GOP respondents said Palin would have the ability to be an effective President. But only 11 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents agreed.
Some see opportunity for Palin among independents. Matthew Continetti, associate editor of The Weekly Standard and author of the new book “The Persecution of Sarah Palin,” noted in a recent op-ed that Palin’s rating among independents is 48 percent unfavorable, and 41 percent favorable, according to Gallup.
But given the image of Palin already cemented in much of the US public’s mind, flipping that percentage might be very difficult.
That in and of itself is not a huge deal, given the length of time before primaries begin. But Romney and Huckabee are from very different parts of the GOP coalition, notes Tom Schaller.
The fact that both now lead her means “Palin’s ideological appeal is easily dominated because it is wide but not deep on the far right and neither wide nor deep among the party’s institutional and more mainstream elements,” writes Schaller on the popular polling blog FiveThirtyEight.
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