Skip to comments.Can Sarah Palin Win? She Will Have To Expand Her Appeal Beyond The Base To Win More Than Primaries
Posted on 11/30/2009 9:29:39 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
If Sarah Palin runs for president in 2012, can she win? Pundits have been buzzing about the possibility since the release of her book two weeks ago, and the itinerary and politics of her book tour suggest she hasn't ruled out a bid. Palin has said she "cannot predict what doors will be open in 2012," but can recent polling provide an answer?
Can Palin Win a General Election? Ultimately, the potential for any Republican in 2012 will depend on voters' future assessments of President Obama. But even if he is vulnerable, Palin will face some huge obstacles, as the polling released in the last few weeks demonstrates.
The biggest barriers involve perceptions of her readiness for higher office. On surveys conducted earlier this month, questions asked by three national polls found significant doubts:
Only 26 percent of Americans say they think Palin "has the ability to be an effective president," according to the recent CBS News poll; 62 percent believe she does not.
Only 28 percent say she is "qualified to be president," according to the survey conducted by CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation; 70 percent say she is not.
Only 38 percent say Palin "is qualified to serve as president," according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll; 60 percent say she is not qualified.
Didn't Barack Obama face similar doubts about his readiness? The Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll tracked a similar question during the last election: "Do you think Barack Obama has the right experience to be president?" The number of registered voters answering in the affirmative started at just 22 percent in December 2006, rose to 35 percent in the summer of 2007 and grew to 51 percent of likely voters on their final survey in early November 2008. So Obama helped convince voters of his qualifications by running for president.
But let's remember that Obama started out as more of a blank slate, while Palin has created a deeper set of impressions. A third of registered voters in that 2006 Fox News survey did not know Obama well enough to answer the experience question, and the number saying Obama lacked the necessary experience never rose above 49 percent on the Fox News surveys. Compare that to the 60 to 70 percent now convinced that Palin is not qualified for the Oval Office.
At the same time, despite doubts about her readiness, majorities of Americans still find things to like about Palin: A CNN/ORC survey of adults conducted in October, for example, found nearly two-thirds (64 percent) willing to describe Palin as a "good role model for women" and a majority (55 percent) finding her "honest and trustworthy." Americans were more closely divided on whether Palin "shares your values" (49 percent say she does) or "generally agrees with you on the issues you care about" (48 percent).
Not surprisingly, Palin scores somewhere in between on favorable ratings and other summary measures. Most surveys find more Americans with an unfavorable impression of Palin than a favorable one, but the most important finding is one reported two weeks ago by the ABC News/Washington Post poll: A majority of Americans (53 percent) say they would "definitely not vote for her."
Can Palin Win the Republican Nomination? Palin faces far lower barriers among Republicans. The same ABC/Post poll finds that 70 percent of Republicans rate her favorably (including 42 percent who rate her very favorably), 61 percent say she is qualified to be president and only 24 percent say they would definitely not vote for her. On the CBS/New York Times survey, 44 percent of Republicans say they would like to see Palin run for president (48 percent would not).
Matthew Dowd, the chief strategist for George W. Bush's campaign in 2004, was right to conclude that Palin's "level of support" in these recent polls "makes her a viable primary candidate" in 2012. In what is likely to be a crowded field, Palin can win in the early state primaries with 35 to 40 percent of the vote. The process then barrels forward to primaries in which, as Politics Daily columnist Walter Shapiro points out, 43 percent of delegates in 2008 were selected on a "winner-take-all" basis.
Many believe that concerns about Palin's electability will lead Republican primary voters to go in a different direction, however. University of Michigan political scientist Brendan Nyhan, for example, notes the strong parallel between doubts about Palin's qualifications and those of former Vice President Dan Quayle. Quayle, he writes, "could never overcome the perception that he was not qualified to be president."
But what really did in Quayle was fundraising. He dropped out in early 1995, "facing a financial squeeze," according to the New York Times. Four years later, as the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot put it at the time, Quayle found that he faced rejection from "the people who write $1,000 checks, or $500 checks."
That was then. Should she run in 2012, Palin is positioned to emulate the model Barack Obama employed for fundraising and field organizing: Draw big crowds to rallies, mine those crowds for small donations (by selling tickets), e-mail addresses and phone numbers (via text messaging). That effort helped raise $129 million in 2007, allowing Obama to compete in the early primaries, and translated into a small donor/grassroots army that ultimately defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008.
Palin's grassroots base holds open the door for her in the 2012 Republican primaries. The lack of money need not slam it shut, as it did for Quayle, but how far she ultimately goes will depend on how successfully she reassures voters beyond that base that she is qualified to be president.
Note that the polls are of "adults" and not "registered voters" nor yet even "likely voters".
Note that the poll internals by age, race, gender, and party are not given.
Nice try, though.
A *balanced* poll would be among those waiting in line at her book tour, as they are most likely to be motivated to vote for her.
Also left untouched is the fact that the left has NO scandals left on her.
She is "clean as the wind-driven snow".
“Only 28 percent say she is “qualified to be president,” according to the survey conducted by CNN”
CN Who.... cares
And zero is qualified how?
I hate to sound like an anti-Paliner and give her "advice," but among the first things she should do if she chooses to run is start cutting some videos of her in the Wasilla Mayor and Governor's office and explaining how she cut taxes and promoted growth and still funded things like education and infrastructure. If she allows the Dems and media to keep talking about Levi Johnston or her family she's going to lose.
Thank you National Journal, we’ll remember to say hi getting off the Helicopter at the White House.
"Move to the LEFT, Sarah.... you may fulfill your dream... we can't stop you but we can corrupt you..." Karl Marx...
Oh, not this crap again!
Let’s remember that Barack Obama had his race as his ace.
If the truth gets out widely about Sarah Palin’s work as Governor of Alaska, I do not think very many will be able to say she is not qualified for presidential office.
She is more qualified than Obama, even after Obama has had a year of on the job training.
Her only problem is that she did not attend Harvard or Yale, so the party elite from both sides of the aisle can pretend to look down on her.
Palin is a committed, creative and hard working leader.She has the skills and hutzpah to do a great job as POTUS.She certainly would be doing far better than Obama is now.
The press has been very hard on her, creating several untrue urban myths that have resulted in the poll numbers reported in the article.Those can be overcome with truth.
I do believe she means to rejuvinate Reagan Republicanism.I am all for it, I think she can do it.
Well, who the hell is going to beat her? Romney the socialist? Huckabee? You’ve got to be kidding me.
If there’s a better God, Country, Family, All American candidate out there, then lets get it on!!
Just drill, baby, drill!!
CNN, CBS, ABC...LOL!
my reply was “Only 28 percent say she is qualified to be president, according to the survey conducted by CNN
CN Who.... cares
And zero is qualified how?”
and who is “Mark Blumenthal”?
You might wrong guy here. I’m a big Sarah fan.
Who is Mark Blumenthal?
“His academic background includes a Political Science degree from the University of Michigan and course work towards a Masters degree at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) at the University of Maryland. He has also served as a guest lecturer at the Communications School at American University and at training seminars sponsored by EMILY’s List, the Democratic National Committee and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.”
DNC? Emily’s List? In other words, he’s a leftist, and you can’t believe a word he says.
What I'd like to see are polls from cBS or any of the liberal media from back in 2007/2007, where they even dared to ask voters such questions about whether 0bozo was even qualified to be president or not (he isn't).
Oh wait...cBS was too scared to ask such questions about 0bama in 2006/7 because they were scared they would be labeled “racist”, plus they were too busy campaigning flat out for 0bama anyways.
Why don't we look at how cBS did in the 2008 presidential elections eh?
The following list ranks the 23 organizations by the accuracy of their final, national preelection polls (as reported on pollster.com).
1. Rasmussen (11/1-3)**
1. Pew (10/29-11/1)**
2. YouGov/Polimetrix (10/18-11/1)
3. Harris Interactive (10/20-27)
4. GWU (Lake/Tarrance) (11/2-3)*
5. Diageo/Hotline (10/31-11/2)*
5. ARG (10/25-27)*
6. CNN/Opinion Research (10/30-11/1)
6. Ipsos/McClatchy (10/30-11/1)
7. DailyKos.com (D)/Research 2000 (11/1-3)
8. AP/Yahoo/KN (10/17-27)
9. Democracy Corps (D) (10/30-11/2)
10. FOX News/Opinion Dynamics (11/1-2)
11. Economist/YouGov (10/25-27)
12. IBD/TIPP (11/1-3)
13. NBC/WSJ (11/1-2)
14. ABC/Washington Post (10/30-11/2)
15. Marist College (11/3)
16. CBS (10/31-11/2)
17. Gallup (10/31-11/2)
18. Reuters/ C-SPAN/ Zogby (10/31-11/3)
19. CBS/NY Times (10/25-29)
20. Newsweek (10/22-23)
Unsurprisingly, cBS ranked near the bottom, with their blatantly pro-0bama, well doctored push polls.
Why on earth would this guy write an article quoting push polls from the notoriously fraudulent, agenda driven, anti-Palin liberal media, but then refuse to quote polls from the best pollster in the business, Rasmussen, which show Sarah Palin running neck and neck with 0bama, and having better favor ability ratings with voters right now than 0bama does?
“Can she win?”
Let’s see....A Marxist Muslim America-hating illegal alien won.
I think Sarah has a shot.
thank you for educating me. i really mean that.
thank you for educating me. i really mean that.
It's one of her biggest strengths. It's the Harvard/Yale cabal that got us into this horrible mess in the first place.
Even though Sarah Palin is , as I have always called her,
the “Anti-Obama”, the thing that could hurt her most is
ironically the growing feeling that OBAMA himself was not
“ready” or “experienced” enough for the Presidency; there could be a backlash against Sarah Palin as the electorate grows increasingly distrustful and disenchanted with Obama
and pins his failures (mistakenly, IMO) of his “lack of experience”, when in fact, it’s his ideology and lack of connectedness with American realities that’s to blame.Palin
already has more experience, far, far sounder core principles, and true hardcore American appeal, so it’s going to be up to the MSM to destroy her subtly by these
artifical “parallels” with Obama. They will figure out a way to do it.
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