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Poll: Support for Palin Still Strong Among GOP

Sarah Palin's bombshell that she will resign as Alaska governor actually has boosted her a bit among Republicans, a nationwide USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, though it also has dented her standing among Democrats and independents.

Palin, tapped by GOP presidential nominee John McCain as his running mate last year, remains a favorite of Republicans and conservatives - and a nemesis for Democrats. Two-thirds of Republicans want Palin to be "a major national political figure for many years to come," while three-fourths of Democrats hope she won't be.

Independents by 55%-34% would prefer she leave the national stage.

The findings underscore how polarized opinions of Palin were even before Friday's surprise announcement. Seven in 10 Americans say their views weren't affected by her decision. Among those whose opinions have shifted, Democrats by 4-1 and independents by 2-1 feel less favorably toward her. Republicans, however, are inclined to see her more favorably.

"For independents and Democrats, she's already not their candidate, and with Republicans her support is not based on her record as governor of Alaska," Republican media consultant Alex Castellanos says. "The basis of her support is that she represents the social conservative wing of the party, that she's a new-generation working-mom conservative, and that she's a victim of the news media. And she's still those three things."

The poll Monday of 1,000 adults - including 321 Democrats, 323 independents and 316 Republicans - has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points for the full sample and 6 points for the partisan subsamples.

Palin's complaints about unfair treatment by the news media resonate with many. Three-fourths of Republicans, more than half of independents and even a third of Democrats say coverage of Palin has been unfairly negative.

Men were significantly more likely than women to say Palin has been treated unfairly.

Overall, 53% call the media's coverage unfairly negative, a jump from the 33% who held that view after the Republican convention in September.

Palin has complained that her actions and her children have been subjected to tougher scrutiny and criticism than other public figures. In a series of TV interviews aired Tuesday, the governor defended her decision to leave office 18 months before her term was up and parried questions about her future. "Don't know what the future holds," she said on ABC. "I'm not gonna shut any door. That - who knows what doors open?"

She talked to reporters in Dillingham, Alaska, wearing waders and helping husband Todd as he hauled in salmon from the family's fishing nets.

When it comes to a potential presidential run, the USA TODAY poll displays both Palin's strength in the Republican base and her weakness among the swing voters who usually decide national elections. Republicans by 71%-27% say they would be likely to vote for her if she ran for president in 2012, while independents by 51%-44% would not.

Her overall standing is only slightly more negative than that of Hillary Rodham Clinton in November 2000, eight years before she nearly won the Democratic presidential nomination.

Then, 47% told Gallup they were likely to vote for Clinton for president if she ran in 2004 or 2008; 51% weren't. Now 43% are likely to vote for Palin; 54% aren't.

12 Responses »

  1. "Independents by 55%-34% would prefer she leave the national stage."

    This is still a problem and I dont see independents flocking to her banner anytime soon. After the disaster we got when we elected the last newbie, I would imagine that America will be looking for someone who at least scored a full term at some serious government post.

  2. I'm afraid we'll have to disagree once again. While Indenpendents aren't impressed by her, they can be swayed by her politics. Independents are moving rightward in a dramatic shift. Gallop polling gave this explanation of the nations politics; you will notice the last line of the "paste":

    "Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin, say their political views in recent years have become more conservative rather than more liberal, 39% to 18%, with 42% saying they have not changed. While independents and Democrats most often say their views haven't changed, more members of all three major partisan groups indicate that their views have shifted to the right rather than to the left.

    >Independents, notably, say their views have grown more conservative, rather than more liberal, by a two to one margin.<

    John Hindraker from the Powerline web log analyzes this information as:

    "So far in 2009, 40% of Americans describe themselves as conservative; conservatives outnumber liberals by more than two to one. So how does one explain the Democrats' gains in the last two election cycles? I'm tempted to say that the definitions of "liberal" and "conservative" are moving to the left as fast as people's self-descriptions are moving to the right. But Gallup also tested views on specific issues, and found that, with some exceptions, Americans have been moving to the right on an issue by issue basis, too. For example, the percentages saying we should favor the economy over the environment and that health care is not the government's responsibility have grown since 2004.

    As we've {Powerline} written more than once, voters tend to turn to the "outs" when they become fed up with the "ins." It appears that not too many voters were fed up with the Republicans because the party was too conservative. Nevertheless, there was enough dissatisfaction with Republican governance that the other guys got a shot. It seems reasonable to expect that the Democrats might wear out their welcome sooner than the Republicans did, since, in addition to the usual grievances that accumulate and erode support for the party in power, the Democrats are taking the country in a direction where the voters don't particularly want it to go."

    I find this to be accurate analysis based on the polls around the country discovering the Republican candidates are becoming more and more viable in places they started out far behind because Obama-mania, and have moved in the lead in others. I'm thinking specifically of the political invironments in Ohio and Virginia. Added as an incidental is my experience walking Precincts here in Jacksonville, I've met several old-time Democrats who are disgusted and have vowed to vote Republican in the next election, (we will be visiting them again in the months ahead).

    This tells me, and I agree with Mr. Hindraker, that the last election was less about Palins' credentials (in the spirit of fairness, those who author Powerline disagree with this point) and more about: "Change". The election confirms that the nation just gets tired of the same Party sitting in the White House for too long.

    Palin is definantly not a "main-stream" Republican, but it was "main-stream Republicans" that blew the 8 years prior to the national election. Palin has confronted corruption in her state- a Republican state with Republican main-streamers and she exemplifies the working-class that has made up the "beef" of the GOP since Ronal Reagan taught us the difference between the two Parties. Politico posts the following opinion of Palin and her recent political coup:

    "while many national Republican strategists and operatives are dubious about how Palin’s surprising move will affect any potential plans to run for president in 2012, key Republican lawmakers — with a high degree of self-interest — believe that Palin has a chance to broaden her support beyond her fervent conservative base to other elements of the party by stumping for candidates and raising funds ahead of next year’s pivotal midterm elections.

    If she provides key support for candidates, they say, she could win critical political backing ahead of the 2012 GOP presidential primaries."

    When I consider Palins acceptance by work-a-day Republicans, (she's one of us- working families with normal life problems) her history of making good conservative decisions, her willigness to buck the Beltway mentality, (the cause for the major losses for Republicans this last election cycle) and her ability to confound the status quo; I think she'll be able to draw 15-20% of those Independents who shifted to the Right in their political views- more than nough to win, and more than enough to win as ACORN attempts to bastardize the voting process, (with Democrat approbation I might add).

    Will the Melendezes of the world attack her with personal insults? Absolutely! But haven't you noticed? Anyone who disagrees with them is automatically an ignoramous or some kind of "sexual molester guilty of statutory rape and runs gay brothels from their basements", (lol, had to throw that in: it is my new delineation for liberals who throw adolecent fits over a persons reasonable propositions).

    Mrs. Palin brings a refreshing reality check to the Republican Party. Hers could be the family next door in working America. The Independents and the "blue-bloods" of the Party can look down their noses at working-class people, but they should remember the old adage that "pride comes before destruction and a huaghty spirit before a fall".

    America is moving forward the "right" way. . .

  3. Mr. Davis,
    I dont think it is just a matter of "right or left" with Palin. The amateur hour operation running the White House right now is the exact reason that, while Independents will likely go Republican in '12, they will not go for her.

    We have a pretty strong tradition of putting people with experience up for elections (with the notable exception of Wendell Wilke in '40). Sure, Mrs. Palin spent some time as a small town mayor did some statewide work and became governor of a lightly populated state. She is still a quitter and not even very good at quitting to boot.

    I dont begrudge her for not running for reelection. We all knew she was going to run in '12 and therefore it would have been dishonest for her to accept another term. But to quit with a year and some change left is dishonest and dishonorable in my opinion. I dont care how many ethics complaints you have to fight.

    As for being an "average joe", I dont really care for that business just as the charges of "elitist" annoy me. A historian once joked that the government was "created by geniuses to be run by idiots" but I would add "they would prefer more geniuses, though". I dont think Sarah Palin is an idiot, she is a capable and competent woman who has worked hard to achieve a modicum of monetary success and had been plucked early from public service and pushing into the spotlight as a "rising star".

    Well, the President also came from a middle class family and really didnt make all that much money until he published his books.

    I guess to sum it up. Americans are going to be looking for a strong leader with a track record. Sarah will not be that leader.

    IMO, of course.

    • Jose,
      "I dont think it is just a matter of “right or left” with Palin. The amateur hour operation running the White House right now is the exact reason that, while Independents will likely go Republican in ‘12, they will not go for her."

      Man, you gotta stop drinking the liberal koolaid. See? what did I tell you about hanging out with pigs just gets you muddy? This is an example. The reason the left, (media included) doesn't like her is because it is exactly about Left vs. Right. This morning we went through the polls that show the nation is becoming decidedly right of center. Palins problem isn't her intelligence, I think I read somewhere that she's smarter than Obama or Biden; which isn't that hard, but the point being made. Her conservatism, and good leadership of Alaska will indeed make her a viable candidate: even with Independents.

      "Republican in ‘12, they will not go for her."

      Which is your opinion, but the data doesn't support the conclusion.

      "Sure, Mrs. Palin spent some time as a small town mayor did some statewide work and became governor of a lightly populated state. "

      Just like Ronald Reagan, sure he was the Governor of a state and the President of an actors union, but, really, what did he know? He did in fact turn out to be sucha great President that he turned the country around, as well as the world. The media tried to do to him what they are trying to do to Palin: paint her as an ignoramous. Even though the facts differ with that conclusion. Take another sip, I know the kool aid is good.. .

      "As for being an “average joe”, I dont really care for that business just as the charges of “elitist” annoy me."

      Which is probably why you say your a Republican but talk like a liberal. Take another sip. . .

      "Well, the President also came from a middle class family and really didnt make all that much money until he published his books."

      Oh stop it! You're gushing again. . .
      The real difference is Palins' roots are in conservatism: the fastest growing political paradigm in America right now: and she has a track record of sticking to those principles.
      Don't cough up the kool aid on the carpet: it'll stain (oh, I forgot "stain" is a bad word in Democrat circles; sorry).

      " guess to sum it up. Americans are going to be looking for a strong leader with a track record"

      This is a true statement, congratulations.

      "Sarah will not be that leader."

      So now you're not just a mind reader, you're a prognosticator as well. Tell me, what are the lotto numbers for this week?

      Before you tell me, wipe that kool aid from your chin. It looks silly. . .

  4. Mr. Davis,
    I dont know what you are reading that could possible measure Palins intelligence as higher than Obama's or Bidens, maybe Biden (he went to Law School but didnt do very well). But by any measure I can see, that is just not true. There are about 100 people I could think of in the Party that are "smarter" than her. And more qualified.

    As for Reagan, he was the governor of what was then the second most populace state in the union with the largest economy. For two full terms.

    Palin was a governor of the second least populace state in the union and she did not even fulfill one term. No comparison in my mind.

    Rush Limbaugh and Charles Krauthammer have always stuck to conservative principles too, that does not mean they would be good presidents.

    "Which is probably why you say your a Republican but talk like a liberal. Take another sip. . ."

    How am I talking like a liberal now? Because I dont gush over your girl like a middle-school band kid? You ad hominem schtick is getting old, Mr. Davis.

    "Oh stop it! You’re gushing again. . .
    The real difference is Palins’ roots are in conservatism: the fastest growing political paradigm in America right now: and she has a track record of sticking to those principles.
    Don’t cough up the kool aid on the carpet: it’ll stain (oh, I forgot “stain” is a bad word in Democrat circles; sorry)."

    A non-related argument, where you do not address the truth of the statement I made. You are correct, she grew up in a different cultural environment (two parents, religious backround, etc), it is easy to have a 100% record of conservative principles when you are a mayor of a small town and only have to be governor for a few years. I would have liked to have seen how well she did after two terms and then we could have a more reasonable discussion of comparisons to Reagan.

    But that was not the point of my statement (before you tried to get cute again with the Kool Aid jokes). My point was that the "Average Joe" thing does not hold water when the president was not born into privilege any more than Gov. Palin.

    BTW, the founding fathers were "elitists" by your standards too. That is why I hate the term. It turns being intelligent or someone who worked hard to get a good education into some sort of liability and being "folksy" or "down home" into a qualification to run the greatest country in the world. The founders hated this kind of attitude, even Thomas Jefferson, in spite of all of his "common man" talk did not think just any old farmer or blacksmith should be president. Even Jackson, who ushered in the true "common man" presidency was an elitist by your standard.

    And I will review with you again since you still aren't getting it (or you are being intentionally obtuse), "IMO" means In My Opinion, it implies that I am not being a "mind reader" I am giving my opinion based on the observations I presented.

    Nice to talk with you again.

    • You talk in circles. IMO I think youre a libertarian and haven't the integrity or the fortitude to make that committment: IMO

  5. The reality is the points I've made to you are reasonable, and you've yet to refute them.

    • Most of the "points" youve made are what I assume you think are funny personal attacks on me, Mr. Davis.

      Simply saying I have not addressed your points does not make it true, just as saying you have won an argument does not make it true.

      • Those weren't personal attacks, those were "IMO".

        Actually, these are the same tactics "your girl" uses in her self-describe debates.

        The reality here is YOU don't think much of Sarah- which is fine. Now unless you're an Independent, your opinion is a single opinion.

        The reality is Political puntends acknowledge that her freedom to work within the Republican Party can actually gain her broad support. Her excellent conservative record gives her gravitas, and the Independents are re-classifying themselves as "conservative" to the point that 54% of Americans classify themselves as conservative. While I don't pretend to have a crystal ball, (or read minds, for that matter) I do see the opportunity for Palin to find a place within that paradigm and become quite successful. As the country becomes more conservative and liberals such as your friend become more un-glued; there exist an opportunity for the successful conservative Governor to repudiate the dispersions of a biased liberal media: primarily that she's an ignoramous. I've said it before, I'll reiterate that point that liberals cast anyone who disagrees with them as a moron or a demon. America is growing weary of that approach. Which is why Chairman Curry has become more popular instead of less popular in the past few days.

        As for elitism. . .that monicker belongs to your liberal friends. Example: Constant deleting of post from your friends site that illustrates her dishonesty or weakness of mind.
        'nuff said.

  6. "BTW, the founding fathers were “elitists” by your standards too"

    I see you're ignorant too. The founding fathers sacrificed all they had to create a nation based on freedom. >IMO< that's far from elitist. You hate the term because it causes you to lose debates.

    A very good eening to you Joh----Jose

    • I layed out a clear reasoning for my statement and you clearly ignored it.

      Jefferson was likely the most radical of the founding fathers in terms of the "common man", but even he believed in the concept of the "natural aristocracy". The idea that certain men rise above based on their virtue and talent. Jefferson thought himself to be one of them, and he valued intellect as one of the most important of those talents.

      "For I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. "

      -Jefferson's letter to Adams 1813.

      The fact that they sacrificed all they had to form a free society does not refute my point at all, in fact it does not even address it as far as I can see.

      • I didnt think your reasoning was clear. It honestly sounded like a kid giving excuses. Sorry for the short-temper. It was late and I was a bit testy.
        "The fact that they sacrificed all they had to form a free society does not refute my point at all, in fact it does not even address it as far as I can see."

        The term elitest, denotes self-absorbtion. The fact that they sacrificed their wealth, and risked their lives ("we must all hag together or surely we will all hang separately") for a nation of free men (ancient greece being their model, as well as Montesqieu). While our Founding Fathers were "working-intellectuals" they were far from elitest. The fact that they sacrificed all they had to form a free society is epitomizes the absence of elitism.

        Which is exposed in the Declaration:

        "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

        What example have you to illustrate elitism?