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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

72

That's the percentage of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who have a favorable opinion of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in a new Gallup survey looking at the potential 2012 Republican presidential field.

Palin was, by far, the most popular Republican tested and also, by far, the best known GOPer -- with just seven percent of Gallup's sample having no opinion about her.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had a 56 percent to 17 percent favorable to unfavorable score with 28 percent offering no opinion; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had a 59/16 favorable/unfavorable score although one in four Republicans offered no opinion on the Huckster.

Interestingly, although she was the best known and best liked candidate in the GOP field, Palin was not the first choice of Republican voters in a hypothetical ballot test. Romney led the field with 26 percent followed by Palin at 21 percent and Huckabee at 19 percent. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) took 14 percent while Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty clocked in at three percent and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour took two percent.

What the divergence between Palin's favorability numbers and her horse race showing tell us is that doubts remain in voters' minds about the Alaska governor's ability to lead the party -- and the country -- even as they feel decidedly warmly toward her as a person.

It's more of what we wrote about earlier this week -- Palin has something of a stature gap that she must fill between now and 2011 (or so) to translate her personal favorable ratings into actual votes.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 16, 2009; 11:28 AM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

jaked wrote: "just like another President that you thought was too "dumb" to win against "geniuses" Gore and Kerry"

That would be the one who did, indeed, turn out to be a whole lot dumber than either Gore or Kerry, right?

Posted by: nodebris | July 17, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not JakeD

==

Same positions from top to bottom, same copious and inept overuse of the sneer-quote, same thick wit.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah like I really expect an honest answer from you clowns

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Try holding your breath.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting for a breakdown of how Palin gets 60 million votes. And no, "Obama sucks!!" isn't specific enough.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm not JakeD. I can read though.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I've seen enough of JakeD to know that daydreaming in hope of national calamity is the best he (you) can hope for.

All Republicans? Every one? About 25 million votes. And Palin is not going to get every Republican voter, there are a few out there who take their civic responsibillity seriously.

Where are the other 35 million going to come from? Are a vast majority of independents going to vote for Palin?

Only in Jake's (your) daydreams.

Funny how "Lisa421" is so passionate about calls to ignore "another" poster.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, maybe JakeD decided to ignore you just like you've urged so many others to ignore him. Whether you think that his scenarios are daydreaming or not (or whether his silence about the exact percentage is a concession or not), he did provide them, in contravention to your assertion at 3:28 PM on this very thread that he did not.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

That's not a "scenario," Lisa, that's "daydreaming."

I asked for percentages and constituencies.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Wrong. Looks like you BOTH provided scenarios (and I think that his are much more likely to happen than your scenario):

"Scenario #1 (Carter redux):

Economy worsens, Iranian crisis, failed hostage recovery.

Scenario #2 (Bush 41 redux):

Third party liberal takes on Obama because of all his failed promises, splitting the vote and Palin wins."

Posted by: JakeD | July 6, 2009 5:31 PM

"Palin's helicopter crashes and she is badly mauled by the wolves she was shooting at. Under the care of a radical surgeon with a shady military background she is rebuilt into a towering cyborg. The voting age is lowered to 14 and she gets the entire Marvel Comics vote.

Not to be outdone, MITT Romney is cyborged into Gigantor but flips out when he is given painkillers that include caffeine. Oh noes!

McCain is rejuvenated to 19 but Mad Science and runs as Palin's VP."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 6, 2009 7:24 PM

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Didn't JakeD already provide possible scenarios for more than 60 million Palin votes?

==

No, he didn't provide a scenario, that's what I'm asking for. He's just done a repeated assertion.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Didn't JakeD already provide possible scenarios for more than 60 million Palin votes? I certainly hope it doesn't have to come to that. Maybe JakeD decided to ignore you just like you've urged so many others to ignore him?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I'll take your silence as a concession, Jake. And no, "answer my questions first" is just a whine.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Ronald & Nancy Reagan - Yes, I love them both. They fit the Norman Rockwell image of everybody's favorite GrandParents.
As President, however, the Republicans kept this great American in front of the camara while behind his back they did anything & everything they wanted. Over 20 years later you still have diehard Republicans sitting around waiting for the Reagan gold mine to open back up.
Reagan - The President that could have taken strong steps to prevent the spread of AIDS, but instead chose to never mention the word.
Reagan - Tax cuts for the rich. Everybody else lost the Interest Deduction. This amounted to a huge Tax INCREASE for most Americans.
Want more Reagan info, just ask!
Do the Republicans have a lock on Texas? Yes, that would APPEAR to be the case. There is one important fact that needs to be mentioned here. Texas is changing, the Republicans are not. I am of course referring to the growing Hispanic population. As a rule Hispanics in Texas don't vote so as a result the Republicans carry the state. One day soon that lion will wake up and one of the last Republican strongholds will be gone forever.
Another Texan I thought was "too dumb" to be President. You mean Bush? Well he proved it!
--------------
Anyway, back to my post. Is there any true College in the land that would risk the value of their Degrees by giving an Honorary Degree to Sarah Palin?

Posted by: JoeNTx | July 17, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Connect the dots, Jake. I say closer to 20 million and I already did some calculations to back that up.

How does Palin get 60 million votes? GOP identification is around 20%, and even a lot of GOP voters won't vote for Palin.

What percentages of what constituencies add up to 60 million for the nominee whose negatives are so very high?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

JoeNTx:

She doesn't need another college degree -- Ronald Reagan got elected despite a degree from an even smaller college -- Abraham Lincoln never got a degree in the first place. If she decides to run, she will win Texas at least. I'm on record predicting she gets more than 60 million votes (just like another President that you thought was too "dumb" to win against "geniuses" Gore and Kerry ; )

Posted by: JakeD | July 17, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I wonder wonder.....
Is there any large College in the lower 48 that would risk becoming a laughing stock by giving Sarah Palin an Honorary Degree?

Posted by: JoeNTx | July 17, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed that Jeb Bush is not polling at all. I'd love to see him run with Lynn Cheney. I can't imagine a Bush/Cheney ticket not winning in 2012.

Posted by: fid4wp | July 16, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

The election is a long way off. But if the next nominee is going to be one of those clowns then yeah they're in the deep stuff.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Gallup poll shows 3 musketeers in lead for 2012 GOP nomination. The GOP is in major trouble. There is an interesting post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

Posted by: carlyt | July 16, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

little impotent pedant sitting in his cube taking easy pot shots at succesful people.

==

Rather be a data geek sitting in a cubicle (an office actually but what of that) taking potshots at Palin ... than be a mental case sitting in a mental institution taking potshots at strangers on a blog

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Actually zouky ol' bourbon and soda, it's never crossed my mind to write a book about what a fascinating person I am, I really don't think anyone would be interested.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

little impotent pedant sitting in his cube taking easy pot shots at succesful people.

this is why Libs are sinking like a stone in the polls. Easy to sit around and carp, but leading others is not so easy, as we see the Obimbots leading America into Carteresque failure.

so far, in an environment of glowing, adoring and fawning populace, the messiah has managed to pass one succesful piece of legislation - the porkulus bill, which was an unmitigated failure of gross proportion.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 16, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

commiesuxcox - how much did your publisher front you for your wisdom, moonbat?

I bet it was every penny you are worth.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 16, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

hey zouk your post and your point fell apart at word two.

Palin write a book?

Like there isn't going to be a "with" after her name

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Have smart, succesful, interesting and beautiful women always perturbed you so? that explains a lot.

Whay kind of person spends their day insulting some politician that is not even in any office based on some falsely reported notions of who she is?

1. she is a woman
2. She is succesful
3. she is beautiful
4. she is conservative

you seem to know nothing else about her.

That is enough to send the angry loons into a tizzy. What an empty shallow life you lead loser.

If she is so inconsequential, why spend your entire waking life trying to vainly show that you are somehow suprerior. you're not. she was a governor, you are a data dink. she ran for VP, you run from bullies. she is writing a book, you write for a free blog. she won a beauty contest, you are an ugly pencil necked geek. see the difference. no wonder you are so perturbed.

Get back to those semicolons and elseif statements.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 16, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that Palin is unlikely to use the time until the 2011 primary season to prepare.

==

And there's the important point. Palin isn't going to study up on the issues, much less the facts. She doesn't want to stand at the podium and sound informed, nuanced, or educated. She wants to sound like a nasty small-town church-going bigot, because that's what makes up her supporters.

Gooble gobble one of us.

When the Couric interview was coming up and Palin should have been preparing, she instead spent hours answering some questionnaire from a local Alaska paper (yet couldn't remember the name of the paper in the Couric interview, which leads to some serious questions about her intelligence).

After the loss and still coasting on intense support from her base, she blew it again by leaving all the speaking requests unanswered. She's not disciplined.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - Romney reminds me of Kerry. He seems presidential. Having lived in Boston for a few years, I tired of the series of governors who seemed to view the governorship a stepping stone to something else. It's a fair criticism of Obama, but I think being a governor has greater responsibilities.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 16, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Good thing irony is massless, otherwise zouk calling anyone else hateful would trigger a gravitational collapse

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

the fool commiesuxcox doth protest much.

what a loser. And to think this nitwit thinks he can convince others to ooze the hate and revulsion that constitutes modern liberalism.

Clearly succesful conservative women put them off their self-diet of loathing and invect. Minorities are only acceptable if they toe the Lib line of ignorance and big government for all.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 16, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for at least not having a picture of Palin making one of her two faces: the bovine smugness face or the chirpy little girl face.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Come ON, people, Sarah Palin is not presidential timber. She's stupid, she's ignorant, she has no intellectual stature whatsoever. She's a fundamentalist who believes real problems can be solved by folding her hands and sending telepathic messages to an invisible cosmic spirit, and when it doesn't work she'll accept the failure as the spirit's expressed wishes. That's nuts.

Why does CC keep talking about her running? Yeah I have no trouble believing the the GOP would take another swig of the cyanide and nominate Palin, but she'd get like 20 million votes. Come on. Quit this, it's insulting.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

As a liberal all I have to say is, PLEASE nominate Palin and put the final nail in the Grand Old Party.

Then maybe Huntsman can come back from China and start a new center right party in this country that isn't run by the wackjobs, and actually has a stance on an issue that isn't WWRRD (What Would Ronald Reagan Do).

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 16, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

It's as I said in one of MY earlier comments, while Palin's favourables are high, her UNfavourables are the highest amongst the candidates polled AND--that's within her own (need I add 'shrinking'?) base. Also note that Huckabee has the LOWEST unfavourables of the lot.

The problem is that Palin is unlikely to use the time until the 2011 primary season to prepare. Her behaviour so far has shown that some 'candidates' who are 'rock stars' can handle it a lot better than others.

Additionally, I don't think with her stepped-up fundraising for 2010, she's going to (or going to be allowed to by those she will be stumping for) take the required time out for the necessary preparation. We all know where 'going with his gut' brought the country under G.W. Bush.

In my Freud-manqué mode, I should say that it appears she's all gain and no pain. That's not a formula calculated to win over a large swath of the electorate in a national election.

At this juncture in their already somewhat precarious situation, are the Republicans actually going to choose a candidate whom they will be following not just up to, but over, the cliff edge? Common sense tells me no, but then, when common sense meets hubris, one wonders which will triumph.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 16, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what favorable means. If you go and look at that poll, you'll see more people find Palin favorable, but you see more people voting for Romney in the primaries.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 16, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"NORTH POL: THE RISE, FALL AND RESURRECTION OF SARAH PALIN"

CC has earned a cameo role in the Sarah Palin TV movie, starring Tina Fey in her first "dramedy."

***

Now, let's turn from bread and circuses to the cover-up of government-enabled extrajudicial targeting and torture being carried over from Bush-Cheney into the Obama Era:


PANETTA'S BOX?


Is THIS the domestic "black op" program that government censors are trying to hide from Congress and the public?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

***

Secetary Napolitano: Do you REALLY know the covert mission of your regional "fusion centers"?

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 16, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

paranoid self-pitying people loaded with rage and grievances and feeling betrayed and condescended to

eleanor seeks out the mirror and spies her reflection.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 16, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1, you add to my observation. People who identify as Republican like Palin by large margins are are surprisingly unfamiliar with other Republican candidates, even those who have run before and raised more money.

Again, wouldn't this suggest that the strongest indicator for identifying as Republican is merely an attraction to Palin?

Posted by: nodebris | July 16, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

do we have to tolerate another day of leftist angry freaks trying to demonstrate their superiority by repeating the same lame criticisms of an honest and hard working woman?
It's a shame your "superstar" turned out to be such a fraud, but don't say we didn't warn you.


If you have so little in your life that all you can do all day is repeat your ignorant thoughts on Palin, then you are simply a sucker falling into CC's trap for trafficing in morons.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 16, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee, I'm kind of surprised doesn't have more support, because he's really not much different from Palin. But people just dont seem to feel the enthusiasm, despite the fact that he's made a lot of effort to keep himself on the radar.

==

I think the reason for that is Huckabee isn't as nasty as Palin. Don't forget what remains of the GOP base .. paranoid self-pitying people loaded with rage and grievances and feeling betrayed and condescended to. Along comes Palin with her dog-whistle racism and appeals to the conceit of nasty stupid people, You watch, if Huck started to euphemistically praise mean pinch-faced church-going bigots and issue euphemized putdowns of minorities and gays etc, he'd soar.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

nodebris writes
"So, Palin is increasingly popular with the shrinking number of people who identify with the GOP.

Think about it for a minute, and you may come to another meaning for those numbers, e.g.: not that an increasing number of Republicans like Palin, but that increasingly only the sort of people who like Palin identify as Republican."


I don't know that the data necessarily leads there, but that is one possible interpretation.

It is somewhat shocking that of the people who identify with the party, or claim to support it, more than one in four have no opinion of two of the leading candidates for last year's nomination. In the article, Gallup didn't explain their methodology, but I have to think these people aren't reliable voters; closer to election season they'll try to cull the sample for likely voters to get a more reliable predictor of the outcome. So I think another valid conclusion is that the survey is a sign of apathy and/or ignorance as much as anything.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 16, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Opps, should have siad 'Romney is like Kerry to me'

Posted by: drindl | July 16, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

FarlingtonBlade writes
"I don't think it's fair to say that she's that much better known than Romney or Huckabee."

I agree that the numbers are surprising; if you believe the Gallup numbers, 7% of self-identified Republicans and Republican leaning independants don't know who Sarah Palin is; the numbers rise to 25 and 28 % for Romney & Huckabee. It is fair to ask whether these people live under rocks. But, they're self-identified Republicans or Republican-leaning independants, so the jokes write themselves.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 16, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Fairlington -- besides recognition, there's something else in the amount of enthusiasm a candidate can evoke. Romney is like was for me -- could vote for him, couldn't vote for bush, but he is off-putitng. still kind of makes me cringe.

Huckabee, I'm kind of surprised doesn't have more support, because he's really not much different from Palin. But people just dont seem to feel the enthusiasm, despite the fact that he's made a lot of effort to keep himself on the radar.

Posted by: drindl | July 16, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Romney will do whatever it takes to keep Palin out of the 2012 field. Is he/Are his supporters behind the ethics complaints?

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 16, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Do we have to keep hearing about this stupid nasty woman? There really is nothing more to discuss about her.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

So, Palin is increasingly popular with the shrinking number of people who identify with the GOP.

Think about it for a minute, and you may come to another meaning for those numbers, e.g.: not that an increasing number of Republicans like Palin, but that increasingly only the sort of people who like Palin identify as Republican.

Posted by: nodebris | July 16, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

In Palin's case, both a retread and a retard. The rare double-dip.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 16, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Most presidents don't ride that high in approval for long. The drop in Obama's approval numbers is purely related to the fact that now he has to govern, and that is dicey business no matter who you are. 55% approval and over 60% favorability is nothing to shake a stick at and is by no means a sign of re-election weakness.

As far as the Republican nomination, if they are dumb they nominate Palin, if they are smart they nominate Romney. Although I feel the difference between these two nominees is whether the party itself survies the election. A Palin nomination will result in an Obama re-election landslide and the virtual destruction of the Republican Party. Romney will run closer, and will at least hold things together so the party can rebuild to capitalize on Obama fatigue in 2016.

Posted by: cmb1 | July 16, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@bsimon - I don't think it's fair to say that she's that much better known than Romney or Huckabee. Both Romney and Huckabee ran long and hard against McCain.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 16, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Chasing hits is what they do.

"stature gap' -- indeed. funny.

I cannot imagine any one of these people having a ghost of a chance against Obama. Palin has charisma, but nothing else, and Huck does too, but he really is a theocrat, and the rest of them have -- not much.

Plus none of them has absolutely anything new to offer -- they just sound like retreads, intoning the same old discredited ideology.

Posted by: drindl | July 16, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I like my best friend, but I wouldn't want him to perform surgery on me.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 16, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The Fix has selected the weakest number from the Gallup piece for promotion. Here's a longer excerpt from Gallup:

"Currently, 72% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have a favorable opinion of Palin, compared with 56% for Romney and 59% for Huckabee. But her lead on this measure largely reflects the fact that she is better known than the two former governors, given the substantially lower "no opinion" figures for her."

They go on to point out that Huckabee is in an arguably stronger position when you look at the full sample, because he retains a high net positive score overall, while Palin scores a minus two. This underscores another critical piece of information ignored by The Fix - that respondents who self-identify as Republicans or leaning Republican make up less than half of the total respondents (455 of 1018). In conclusion, I'm beginning to suspect that The Fix has a stronger attraction to Palin than the much-ridiculed JakeD. Or he's chasing hits.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 16, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

While Palin may be slightly more popular, Romney’s advantage may indicate Republicans realize the threat she poses to the party. With Obama’s plummeting popularity, the GOP surprisingly has a chance to win in 2012. Palin may be popular with Republicans, but if she’s nominated, Obama would win in a landslide.

Romney looks like the right candidate for the GOP. His issue strengths are what the party needs to challenge Obama. He can speak articulately about economic issues, and he has the credentials to back up what he says. Those are two qualities, eloquence and credibility, Palin will never represent. http://warroomalerts.com/2009/07/16/romney-has-early-lead-for-gop-nomination/

Posted by: johnnydrama36 | July 16, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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