As Palin Tanks in Polls, Are Presidential Hopes Over?

Only 8 percent say they would "definitely" vote for her

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Two new polls out this week paint a discouraging picture for anyone holding out hope for a Sarah Palin presidency in 2012. A Washington Post-ABC poll reports that 59 percent of Americans would not even consider voting for Palin for president, 8 percent say they would "definitely" vote for Palin, and 31 percent would consider it. Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal-NBC poll finds that Palin would lose a hypothetical presidential election against Obama by 33 to 55 percent. Even after Palin's already rough year of polling, pundits are treating these two new batches as exceptional: nails in the coffin of her 2012 presidential hopes. Here's what they're saying.

  • Quitting Governorship Has Killed Her Popularity  Slate's David Weigel sees yet another poll "showing that Sarah Palin is one of the least popular figures in national politics." He notes that since April 2009, just before Palin announced she would leave the Governor's office, her "very/somewhat positive" numbers have dropped from 32 to 28 percent, while "very/somewhat negative" has risen from 38 to 50 percentage. "Since trading in her job as a famous but hard-to-cover governor for one as a conservative activist, Palin's favorable numbers have tumbled."
  • Celebrity Doesn't Seem to Give Much of a Boost  Talking Points Memo's Jon Terbush writes, "Sarah Palin may have her own TV show, a gig on Fox News, and two books to her name, but there's one thing she is unlikely to add to her resume, according to a number of recent polls: the presidency.."
  • Polarization Hurts More Than Helps  The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan says polarization "can come back to bitecha." He explains: "The more the base rallies to her the more the general public flees. Which is a, er, problem for the GOP, no?"
  • Lesson for Republicans: Don't Nominate Palin   "President Obama has his own electoral problems for sure, and the GOP has a decent chance of beating him in 2012," Outside the Beltway's Doug Mataconis writes. "As long as they don't nominate the one candidate who has absolutely no chance of winning. But nobody would be dumb enough to do that, would they? Surely not."

In October, she told "Entertainment Tonight" that she would only run if the field were missing a candidate who had "common sense" and "pro-Constitution passion."

It there were such a candidate, Palin would opt out of a race and be "their biggest supporter and biggest help-mate."

That answer boxed Palin in considerably, because the field will likely include at least a few candidates who fit those criteria. For example, Palin gave a ringing endorsement to Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), a possible 2012 candidate, in his reelection bid earlier this year.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.