COMMENTARY | Although it is a common supposition that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will eventually announce that she is running for president in 2012, another poll is indicating that she probably shouldn’t even bother. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Friday indicates that nearly 6 out of ten Americans (59 percent) wouldn’t even consider supporting her for a presidential run. And her Democratic incumbent opponent? President Barack Obama only has a 43 percent “Definitely Not” rating. But will such a lopsided poll deter her? Doubtful.
It was the second poll in a row showing Sarah Palin dismally trailing Barack Obama in numbers regarding a 2012 presidential run. On Wednesday, NBC/Wall Street Journal released the results of a poll that showed Sarah Palin a 22-point underdog to the incumbent president.
Sarah Palin told ABC News that a 2012 run at present was a “prayerful consideration.”
Interviewed before the ABC News/Washington Post poll was released, she commented about the low poll numbers in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. ” A poll number like that… doesn’t look really pretty today, but a primary is months and months in the process,” she said. “If I were to participate in that contested primary, I would be in it to win it.”
But could she? Even given the nearly two years until Election Day 2012, could Sarah Palin pull it off? That, too, is doubtful.
“In it to win it” certainly sounds good as a sound byte, but it doesn’t offer up substance, something of which Sarah Palin is often described as lacking. From David Frum to Karl Rove to Joe Scarborough to Ed Rollins, the former Alaska governor has been recently confronted by prominent conservatives tired of her glad-handing populist approach to serious politics. And a couple of recent public statements, such as referring to George H. W. and Barbara Bush, as “blue bloods,” have also made her a target of general Republican castigation.
Palin hasn’t been well received by the Republican intelligentsia or their movers and shakers. Some outright blame her, fairly or unfairly, for Senator John McCain’s failed presidential run in 2008, driving away many Independents and conservative Democrats that might have voted for McCain had she not been such a polarizing force. Fox News contributor Bill Kristol seems to be the only person who is totally enamored with former Alaska governor. Most powerful Republicans are content to use her as a campaign tool, a motivating force, someone who can be relied upon to rally the base. She has proven quite effective at doing just that, proving her worth during the 2010 midterm elections and watching two-thirds of the candidates she openly supported win their elections.
According to one Alabama Congressman, Sarah Palin’s support was the reason why Republicans lost the chance to control the Senate after the midterm elections — pointing out that some voted as much against a candidate( due to her support) as opposed to voting for the other candidate.
But low poll numbers will not stop Sarah Palin from running for president. Besides, her allusion to the primaries being a long process, insinuating that things change over time, is correct. And they could change in the former Alaska governor’s favor, just as they seem to have turned in her disfavor of late.
There’s power to be garnered in the primary contests as well. And Sarah Palin, with her growing personal wealth, political clout, and powerful political action committee (SarahPAC), certainly seems to be reaching for more power within the Republican Party. The winning of delegates to the Republican National Convention could ensure that she has a say in whom Republicans ultimately choose as their 2012 candidate.
So what if six out of ten Americans wouldn’t vote for her… her involvement in the upcoming 2012 Republican primaries and election campaign could still influence millions of votes, Democratic and Republican. It is assumed that Sarah Palin is well aware of that fact.
Saul Relative holds degrees in History and Secondary Education, and he taught school in West Virginia in the ’80s and Virginia during the ’90s. A student of politics and political movements, he began writing articles covering the political maneuverings of the Bush administration in 2004. Saul turned to writing full-time in 2008, dividing his time between reading and writing about politics and entertainment.