Iowa Poll Shows Trouble Ahead for Sarah Palin in 2012

The Des Moines Register released their new 2012 GOP poll for the state of Iowa today, and as expected the three most well known names, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin lead the pack. What is a surprise isn’t the overwhelming favorability of Romney, but the high unfavorabilily rating for Palin, who is not favored by 39% of the state’s Republicans.

The Des Moines Register poll did not measure preference, but instead focused on favorability. Romney had the highest favorable at 62%. He was closely followed by Sarah Palin at 58% and Newt Gingrich at 56%. Where the potential candidates separate themselves is in unfavorables. Romney has a very low unfavorable rating of 26%. Gingrich is second at 33%, and Palin is third at 39%. Another negative working against Palin is that almost all those surveyed have made their minds up about her. Only 3% of those surveyed were not sure about her, compared to 12% for Romney and 11% for Gingrich.

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Iowa Poll: Trouble Ahead for Palin

The Iowa caucuses are more than a year and a half away, so it makes sense for pollsters to measure favorability not preference. Favorability is simply a measure of whether the electorate likes a candidate. For my money, it is the most important statistic in all of political polling, because at a gut level voters have to like a candidate before they can support them. A candidate can everything else working in his or her favor, but if voters don’t like them at a very basic and personal level, they won’t win.

The problem that Sarah Palin is going to face not only in Iowa, but through out the 2012 campaign is that there are a substantial number of Republicans who have serious doubts and reservations about her. Her favorability issues are compounded by the fact that the American electorate has already made its mind up about her. While it is true that Palin is just as popular as any of the other Republican contenders, she is also more disliked by people in her own party than any of the other contenders.

In 2008, Romney spent lots of time and millions of dollars in Iowa. His organization remains very strong there and there is no reason to believe that he will not emerge from the Iowa caucuses with a solid victory. The story to watch is whether or not Palin can overcome her own image and negatives and be a force in Iowa and New Hampshire. Team Palin appears intent on running a cult of personality campaign built on the aping the style of Ronald Reagan. Being that Palin’s only strength is her personality, they will be limited to running a style over substance campaign.

Polls like the one in Iowa highlight the potential limitations of Sarah Palin as a presidential candidate. Voters, and a sizable number of Republicans, don’t like her. Most importantly, she has been so overexposed that people have already made up their minds about her. Instead of working to change this perception, Palin continues to reinforce it with erratic behavior, fence building, and celebrity feuds. Just because this poll shows that there are real trouble signs for Palin in 2012, doesn’t mean that she should not be taken seriously. The 2012 GOP field is so weak, that even a deeply flawed candidate, who has no chance of winning a general election, like Palin, has a chance to win.

10 Replies to “Iowa Poll Shows Trouble Ahead for Sarah Palin in 2012”

  1. The Caribou Bimbo knows she does not have a chance of winning the republinut nomination. That is why she is doing everything in her power to stay in the limelight so she will be HIRED for speaking engagements to MAKE MONEY. She knows that her days are numbered, and she is doing all she can to make money before the well runs dry. But, you know she could charge for giving classes on “How to skin a moose”!!!

  2. Jason Sarah has a new strength now. Huffington reports she has implants now lol.

    I dont think she will make it through half the campaign season. There is no way either Gingrich or Sarah can carry the baggage they have through the entire season. All the ridiculous things Sarah has said will come back to bite her, and thats evident in your post(unfavorability).

    Romney cant win, and there is the possibility someone will come out of the woods.

  3. She is too polarizing. We already either love her or hate her. There is no middle – no undecideds and her unfavorables are probably much higher than has been reported.

    She opened up her closet door and we all saw the inside, the mess, the nastiness, the strangeness and weirdness that is Caribou Barbie. She makes a delightful cartoon character but is not ready for primetime.

    I believe that most people in the country want someone with a functioning brain in the White House. We had 8 years of “the other” and Palin would just be Bush- only worse.

    And, she’d quit half way a term anyway.

  4. @Basheert, I think she would be far worse, considering that her husband would be the real president. And he works for the oil companys

  5. @Basheert, That is exactly it. She is 100 X more polarizing than Hillary Clinton was in 2008. Her negatives are too high, and people have already made up their minds about her. However in a down year, she still might have enough popularity to luck into the GOP nomination.

  6. Jason, one other thing that people forget.

    When John McNasty “tapped” $Palin as his Veep candidate, he did it because he truly believed that American women were so stupid we would vote for anyone with a uterus.

    Hilary Clinton was and is brilliant. She has style, wit and she has an enormous astuteness in dealing with people. She is bright. Women like her because she represents the BEST in women.

    On the other hand, $P does have a uterus…

  7. Yes, Palin has done absolutely nothing to address her serious shortcomings, and everything to reinforce what people dislike about her. I have no doubt that there are folks stroking that huge ego, therefore doing her a disservice. She does not believe or understand that “personality” without substance will not do the job.
    By comparison, Hillary Clinton has earned the enormous respect she has. She has not only paid her dues, but has also been outstanding in her present capacity. As opposed to overexposing herself and perpetually seeking the limelight, Clinton has quietly and efficiently proven her mettle.

  8. It really does not matter if the village idiot is liked in Iowa since sooner or later she will be held accountable for stealing from the state of Alaska…as an Alaskan I’m looking forward to her being convicted and no longer being given a media platform to further damage my state’s credability or that of true conseratives nation wide.

  9. I agree, she has been an absolute disaster for we Alaskans. Remember how she gave each of us $1,200 in 2008 just for being Alaskan? ON TOP OF OUR PERMANENT FUND!! We should have known she was just bat—- crazy! What were we thinking? There is always an ulterior motive when it comes to the Palins. And, good grief! The e-mails that showed Todd was really the governor were so scary! He barely graduated from high school. I am so tired of the comment “She is a breath of fresh air.” I always wonder what air those people are breathing!

  10. @Ellie,

    Another scary thing is that to this day, there are people who are still claiming she has more
    “executive experience” than Obama, in spite of his 17 months as president. Can you imagine what Todd Palin’s actual role would have been had she succeeded in becoming Vice President, not to mention President? The thought is more than enough to make me shudder.

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