Former governor now chief Twitter politician Sarah Palin is winning over fewer and fewer fans, new polling suggests. Yet last week she gave a glib speech to the Tea Partiers gathered in Nashville that every political reporter in the country clamored to cover. She wrote rudimentary crib notes on the palm of her hand and visibly referred to them in answering questions that she had received in advance. Then she defended Rush Limbaugh as a “satirist” and went on Fox News and talked about how the president could bolster his standing with hawkish voters by attacking Iran. That was the week in Palin. As a backdrop to it all, the press keeps asking whether Palin might run for the presidency and keeps speculating on her chances for victory. As her diving poll numbers suggest, it’s time to just stop the madness.
As Dave Weigel writes at the Colorado Independent’s sister site in DC, “Sarah Palin must be the most-polled political figure who doesn’t even hold office– but as long as we’re going to get relentless coverage of her it’s good to get data like this.”
Palin’s more popular in her own party — 69 percent of Republicans see her favorably. But far fewer, 37 percent, do so “strongly.” (By contrast, in an ABC/Post poll last month, 70 percent of Democrats had a strongly favorable opinion of Barack Obama.) More problematic for Palin is that even in her own party 52 percent think she’s not qualified for the presidency — up by 16 points from an ABC/Post poll in November, shortly before the publication of her memoir, in which she criticizes the strategy of the 2008 Republican presidential campaign.
Full results here.
Weigel, who chronicles contemporary conservative politics, is a reluctant reporter on things Palin. He says she has used her post-gubernatorial career to “whine and score-settle and not — as the defenders said she had to — talk about policy in any serious way.”
Republicans, Democrats and, most importantly, Independents have now apparently seen enough. The Washington Post today looks at her numbers:
Six percent of Democrats now consider her qualified for the presidency, a drop from 22 percent in November; the percentage of independents who think she is qualified fell to 29 percent from 37 percent.
This isn’t asking independents whether they would vote for Palin. The question is whether they believe she’s even qualified for the job. The answer is now in line with the one serious political observers have long known to be true: The answer is no.