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Dem Sympathetic Public Policy Polling: Sarah Palin Vs Obama 46 / 46 For 2012

Thursday, July 15, 2010 0 Responses
No, this is not coming from Rasmussen or an internal GOP poll, but from the normally Democrat-sympathetic Public Policy Polling.  PPP pitted Barack Obama against five potential Republican challengers for the 2012 presidential campaign, and the only one Obama beat was … Jan Brewer.  Even that, PPP admitted, resulted from Brewer’s lack of name recognition.  The headline, though, is Sarah Palin’s dead heat with the President:
With his approval numbers hitting new lows it’s no surprise that Barack Obama’s numbers in our monthly look ahead to the 2012 Presidential race are their worst ever this month. He trails Mitt Romney 46-43, Mike Huckabee 47-45, Newt Gingrich 46-45, and is even tied with Sarah Palin at 46. The only person tested he leads is Jan Brewer, who doesn’t have particularly high name recognition on the national level at this point.
It’s not that any of the Republican candidates are particularly well liked. Only Huckabee has positive favorability numbers at 37/28. Romney’s at 32/33, Gingrich at 32/42, Palin at 37/52, and Brewer at 17/20. But with a majority of Americans now disapproving of Obama it’s no surprise that a large chunk of them would replace him as President if they had that choice today.
There are two things driving these strong poll numbers for the Republican candidates. The first is a lead with independents in every match up. Romney leads 48-35 with them, Gingrich is up 50-39, Huckabee has a 46-40 advantage, Palin’s up 47-42, and even Brewer has a 38-37 edge.
In case one wonders whether PPP’s sample is to blame, the partisan split favors Democrats by five points, 39/34.  That’s probably overstating the actual size of the gap and the percentage of Democrats in the general population, which means that the independents got short shrift as well.  Also note that this poll surveyed registered voters, not likely voters — a sampling technique that would tend to favor Democrats and Obama a little more.
The news is almost uniformly bad for Obama in the poll.  His approval rating is now seriously underwater at 45/52.  That gets even worse among independents, 40/56.  He doesn’t get above 46% in any matchup with Republicans, not even Jan Brewer, whom he beats 44/36, with 20% undecided.
For Palin, the numbers show she can play against Obama.  She pulls 8% of those who voted for Obama in 2008 and 35% of those who “don’t remember” (?!?), which puts her on par for outreach with Gingrich (9%, 40%), Romney (9%, 32%), and slightly better than Huckabee (6%, 32%).  If that’s not vindication for those who argued that Palin couldn’t do as well with unaffiliated voters, it’s cetainly something close to it
Update: There seems to be some confusion in the comments over the number of people who claimed not to remember how they voted in 2008.  That was 9% of the respondents in the survey (combined with those who voted third party).  Since Obama won the 2008 popular vote by seven points (53/46) and this Dem +5 poll shows only 46% of respondents acknowledging their vote for Obama, I’d say it’s a healthy probability that most of that 9% voted for Obama and don’t want to acknowledge it now.  Of that 9%, Palin wins 35%, Gingrich wins 40%, and so on.
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Time Magazine / CNN: Sarah Palin in '12? Why She's for Real

Thursday, July 15, 2010 0 Responses
The music swells and then picks up tempo. Sarah Palin is talking about how 2010 will be the year that "commonsense conservative women get things done for our country." She's worried about "these policies coming out of D.C. right now, this fundamental transformation of America," and reports that she is not alone. "Moms kinda just know when something's wrong," she says. "You thought pit bulls were tough? Well, you don't wanna mess with the mama grizzlies!"
Can a two-minute Internet video reshuffle a Republican presidential race before it has even started? Palin's glossy yet authentic clip, released without any fanfare did just that. It was the surest sign yet that she means to be an energizing factor in this year's midterm elections and will mount a real bid for the White House in 2012. Most compelling is the way the video targets women, specifically moms, whom Palin exhorts to vote in the midterms and halt the Obama agenda. The video features image after image of everyday, determined, smiling, patriotic mothers and grandmothers, all keen to join her army of supporters. Palin calls it a "mom awakening." If Palin can inspire GOP and independent women to turn out for the party's candidates in November, she could decisively influence the outcome of the midterms.
Palin doesn't need specific policies to crank up the energy — or even specific criticisms of Obama. She knows that injecting emotion into the conversation is the most efficient way to spark a movement. Her charming if idiosyncratic way with words may also be an asset: "Look out, Washington, because there's a whole stampede of pink elephants crossing the line, and the ETA stampeding through is November 2, 2010. Lotta women comin' together." […] 
Her candidacy would require almost none of the usual time sinks that force politicians to jump in early: power-broker schmoozing, schedule-intensive fundraising, competitive recruitment of experienced strategists, careful policy development. She would have immediate access to cash, with even small Internet donations likely bringing in millions.
Already the most arresting political figure other than the President, Palin will be even more visible in the coming months. After a year of profitable speaking, bookselling and punditry on Fox, she will do some promotion in August for the paperback release of her best-selling Going Rogue. When it airs in the fall, her documentary series about Alaska on TLC will attract both curiosity and viewers. And after the midterms, her second book, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, will hit stores in time to rack up millions in Christmas sales. She keeps in touch with her fans via Twitter and Facebook; on July 13 she pushed back hard after the NAACP criticized the Tea Party.
Palin thrives on the unpredictable, and as her new video shows, she can adapt quickly. "What she knows, you can't teach," says Mark McKinnon, a top strategist for George W. Bush and McCain. "And what she doesn't know she can learn — and she's learning fast."
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