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8/18: 2012 Prospects: Palin a Force in GOP But Not General Electorate


8/18: 2012 Prospects: Palin a Force in GOP But Not General Electorate

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may still be making news headlines, but the U.S. electorate has news for her.  If the 2012 presidential election were held today and she were the Republican candidate, Palin would not defeat President Barack Obama.  In fact, the president would win the election by a considerable margin.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

56% of U.S. registered voters report they would cast their ballot for the president while 33% would vote for Palin.  It’s probably not a shock that public opinion divides along party lines.  92% of Democrats would support Obama in this hypothetical contest while 73% of Republicans would back Palin.  Although President Obama does not receive a majority of Independents in this matchup, Obama does win nearly half — 49% — of this key voting group.  Palin receives 34% of their support.

Table: Obama/Palin 2012 Toss-up

(Image courtesy: / CC BY-SA 2.0)

No Clear Republican Frontrunner for 2012…Decision to Resign Hurt Palin, Say Voters

While Sarah Palin’s resignation from office has fueled further speculation about a 2012 presidential run, Republicans aren’t giving her a free pass.  In fact, when Republicans including Independents who lean toward the GOP were asked whom they would support if the 2012 Republican presidential primary were held today, 21% report they would back former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  20% would support Palin, and 19% would vote for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.  Further down in the pack are former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich with 10%, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal with 5% and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty with 1%.  24% of Republicans including leaners are unsure.

Palin’s decision to step down from office did not help her cause.  In fact, voters say her action hurt her prospects for a presidential bid.  61% of the national electorate thought Palin’s resignation was a bad political move while just 15% report it helps her political aspirations.  The self-proclaimed “soccer mom” doesn’t even gain the affirmation of her own party.  A slim majority of Republicans — 51% — think Palin’s stepping down hurt her political future.  69% of Democrats and 61% of Independents agree.

When it comes to Sarah Palin’s overall favorability, newly-minted private citizen Palin has some damage control to do.  43% of the U.S. electorate views her unfavorably compared with 37% who think positively of her.  20% are unsure.

However, Palin does have some considerable clout within her own party.  Nearly three-quarters of Republicans — 73% — think well of Palin compared with 16% who have the opposite opinion.  Palin currently does not fare well with voters across the aisle.  Just 11% of Democrats hold her in high esteem.

Table: 2012 Presidential Republican Primary

Table: Impact of Palin’s Resignation on 2012 Bid
Table: Palin’s Favorability

Marist Poll Methodology

Related Stories:

Complete August 18, 2009 USA Release & Tables

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  1. Pingback: Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Once Again, A Poll Shows Obama Beating Palin

  2. why do leaves change color

    June 30, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    My friend frequently spoke about this blog page but this really is the first url page I’ve truly checked out currently. I’m pretty pleased and at this moment a regular.

  3. Sebastian Hussain

    October 5, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Sarah Palin is a very intelligent woman in my opinion`.~

  4. Socialist for Palin

    August 25, 2010 at 8:07 AM

    “Obama” is Swahili for “Carter.” If I wanted corporate shills, I would have voted for McCain and Palin. I prefer an honest whore to a lying slut.

  5. Caitlin Baker

    April 26, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    I idolize Sarah Palin because she is a woman with very strong character. She has also lots of accomplishments in the area of public service.~~~

  6. GC

    September 18, 2009 at 10:02 AM

    I know that you were probably paid to conduct this poll, and thus you were kind of stuck with what you were given, but the lack of Ron Paul in the poll is a disappointment.

  7. Clifford Bryan

    August 29, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    Michelle Obama should deal with Sarah Palin issue that is not going away

  8. John Austin

    August 24, 2009 at 12:10 PM

    This Article is a recent classical example of Mass Media Propaganda.

    Hypocrites refuse to believe that Sarah Palin is an instrumental element in the future of Politics. Sarah now has most of the Independent voters support, along with Moderate Democrats and Republican.

    Poll Results:

    Who would you rather vote for in 2012?

    President Obama 21%
    Sarah Palin 73%
    Don’t want to vote for either 7%

    Is Sarah Palin qualified to be president?

    79.28 %


    13.30 %

    Not Sure

    7.42 %

    1) 150,000 Dollar clothes…”A man can wear the same clothes and no-one will notice. I woman cannot do that because if She wears the same clothes in July…and then again in October…People will notice. That is why women have big wardrobes. Personal from Sarah…”She gave her clothes to Charity”.

    2) Written to Boston University:

    The (5) Continents…”All are bordered by Water and begin with the same first and last letter “A”, (Alaska)? America, Asia, Australia, Antarctica, Africa. Arctic is not a continent because it has no Earth beneath.

  9. Pingback: 2012 Election Poll: Obama beats Palin in a landslide victory - Politics and Other Controversies - Page 3 - City-Data Forum

  10. Pingback: 2012 Election Poll: Obama beats Palin in a landslide victory - Politics and Other Controversies - Page 2 - City-Data Forum

  11. Pingback: 2012 Election Poll: Obama beats Palin in a landslide victory - Politics and Other Controversies - City-Data Forum

  12. Pingback: President Obama With Huge Lead Over Sarah Palin In Potential Head To Head Match-Up | Barack Obama

  13. Marie Jessick

    August 19, 2009 at 8:07 PM

    Let’s take a second to refresh your memory, you and I know who, and I’m not mentioning her name, was the lightning rod of late-night comics just like Barbara Walters was when she joined ABC News in 1976 and it wasn’t until Ms. Walters joined 20/20 and looked what to her broadcast career since then. I really expect Palin to go into the talk show biz because she looks more talk show star than pres hopeful and bounce back nicely thank you.

  14. aaron krohn

    August 19, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    Who voted in your poll? I saw a Rasmussen poll a week or so ago thatn had Obama up by only 6 (48 to 42). A similar poll had him up in Feb. by 25 (57 to 32). So Palin gained 19 points in just 6 months!! Besides, Palin’s not running for President. YET!! She’s trying to save the nation she loves from being sent down the drain–or to China!!–by Obama and his legions!!

  15. yadayada

    August 19, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    You communist pigs. Who the hell cares. Obama would beat her only because of the ongoing media position, the media damage done to Palin and the minority vote.

    What kind of poll is this? Might as well be asking who is the best rock keyboardist in the world? Jerry Lee Lewis or Ray Charles.

  16. Pingback: Why does Palin get under ya'll's skin so? - Page 3 - Offtopicz

  17. Mary Azzoli

    August 19, 2009 at 11:41 AM

    The Marist Poll sample of voters reflects the overall American electorate.
    – Mary Azzoli
    Director of Interactive Media Systems, The Marist Poll

  18. nate

    August 19, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    Any poll without Ron Paul is a joke!

  19. Gary Sentiff

    August 18, 2009 at 11:32 PM

    Of the 33% who favor Palin, 100% believe that Health Care Reform is a conspirancy to kill old people. Also 98% also think that only Fox News is accurate: 97% think that too much money is spent in this country on education (who needs education); and 75% think that man and dinosaurs walked on the earth at the same time.

    I gleefully admit that I am not in accord with the 33%.

  20. Pingback: Marist: Obama 56%-Palin 33% in 2012 Matchup « Marist « Obama Approval Rating Blog

  21. Pingback: PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » As Was Expected, Yes? (Palin Politics)

  22. Pingback: Hot Air » Blog Archive » Marist poll: Obama 56, Palin 33

  23. Mandy

    August 18, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    well, DUH

  24. Rick Caird

    August 18, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    I thought Marist was better than this. If you go to

    you will find this line:

    “There are 310 Republicans Including Republican Leaning Independents.”

    So, we conclude out of 938, since there were only 33% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents, Marist significantly skewed the sample toward Democrats.

    Second, the press release was quite snarky and unprofessional:

    “….the elctorate has news for her”.

    No, a skewed Marist poll reached an unlikely conclusion.


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