Palin’s Downward Momentum

The other day I asked if Sarah Palin may be headed for a future leadership role in the party or if she’ll be relegated to the role of “fundraiser-in-chief,” able to raise money from red meat types but not really have a voice on policy. Well, as with any political question there’s someone out there polling it, and the news isn’t good for Team Sarah. From Political Wire:

A new Public Policy Polling survey has some interesting findings concerning Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R): While 76% of Republican voters have a favorable opinion of her, 21% say they would rather vote for President Obama if she became the Republican party presidential nominee in 2012.

In a head-to-head match up, Obama would beat Palin, 53% to 41%.

It would appear that the Governor continues to be personally popular with the GOP but still isn’t seen to have the policy chops of a potential POTUS. This isn’t to say that she doesn’t have them–Palin can still rehab her image, and definitely has opportunities to do so. However, stories like this won’t help:

The father of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s grandson told Larry King he would be willing to go to court for custody of the child, but he hoped it wouldn’t come to that.

Said Levi Johnston: “I can go over there and see him. But it’s, now you know, it’s kind of an uncomfortable thing for me to go over there. You know, I want to be able to take him and that kind of thing, go do the father thing with him and I can’t.”

  1. April 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm


    I would encourage you to check out the crosstabs on that PPP poll. Nearly half of the people polled were Democrats(40%). The poll assumes that Democratic turnout will be higher in 2012 than it was in 2008.

    Even with it’s scewed methodology, the PPP poll shows Sarah Palin increasing by 6% and Obama losing 2% from the last PPP Obama v. Palin matchup. That is hardly downward momentum.

    I would look to Rasmussen(the most accurate poll in 2008), that has Sarah Palin at 52% favorability nationally.

    • April 25, 2009 at 11:12 pm


      Thanks for the tip–I didn’t realize that Palin was trending upward in the PPP survey (why I didn’t recall that PPP is a Dem firm puzzles me). Perhaps downward was the wrong word–as you mentioned on your blog, Palin definitely had a good night in Indianapolis two weeks ago. What I’m watching, though, is whether Palin can expand beyond her conservative base. I’m afraid the media has done a pretty good sell job on her at this point, and unfortunately, for all her great work as a conservative leader, she’s been suffering from some PR and political missteps of late.

      I think we really haven’t started to see too much movement from Obama on head to head matchups, and it probably isn’t healthy (from a political or mental health perspective) to taking too much from these numbers this far out. I would also caution putting too much into her favorability ratings–recall that even Senator McCain had favorability in the mid-50s to low-60s throughout most of the general election, bottoming out around fifty just as we were headed to the polls.

      Again, though, four years is a lifetime in politics. Let’s see what Sarah’s made of.

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