A new Public Policy Polling survey of undecided voters released today shows that Sarah Palin’s “leadership” may cause GOP candidates around the country to crash and burn in both 2010 and 2012. The survey revealed that 65% of undecided voters disapprove of Palin, while only 17% approve of her.
The PPP survey of undecided voters was done to see what prominent figures might influence voter decisions this fall. President Obama turns out to be a wash as 44% approve and 44% disapprove of him, but other Democrats fare much better. The top Democrat in terms of favorability is Hillary Clinton. The Secretary of State has a 55% approval rating and a 31% disapproval rating. Next is her husband Bill Clinton who has a 52% approval rating and a 39% disapproval rating. First Lady Michele Obama has a 51% approval rating, and only a 28% disapproval rating.
However no one in either party inspires such strong levels of disapproval as Sarah Palin. Palin has a gigantic 65% disapproval rating, and only a 17% approval rating. The dislike of Palin blows every other Republican out of the water. Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich lag way behind the half term governor each with a 41% disapproval rating. They are followed by Mike Huckabee with a 33% disapproval rating and Mitt Romney with a 25% disapproval rating. Most telling and troubling for Palin is who these undecided are, 14% were Democrats, 21% were Republicans, and 65% were Independents.
Democrats around the country need to be running against the Palin endorsed candidates, by using Palin’s endorsement against them. They should be linking these candidates to the unpopular Palin at every turn. A 17% approval rating is unheard of, and Democrats would be wise to be capitalizing on it every single day. Polling earlier this summer revealed that a Palin endorsement was viewed as a negative in voters’ minds. By injecting herself so heavily in the 2010 campaign, Palin has given Democrats a reviled opponent to run against.
In the bigger 2012 picture, these numbers mean that any 2012 presidential run is certain to fail. Palin may be popular with Republicans, but she is only popular with Republicans. To put her approval rating into context, George W. Bush wrecked the entire country, and he left office with a higher approval rating (22%) than Sarah Palin has (17%). The only approval rating lower than Sarah Palin’s is BP (16%).
The more Palin is seen or heard, the more her approval rating drops. At her current pace, she should register the first ever zero approval rating within a year. Any candidate that is happy to be linked to Sarah Palin needs to ask themselves if they would be as excited by an endorsement from BP, because in the minds of undecided voters, the support of Palin is like getting a giant thumbs up from British Petroleum. Sarah Palin is not only an anchor around the necks of the GOP, and in the general election her support could be the kiss of death for many GOP candidates.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association