Maybe David Broder should have waited until his own newspaper divulged their newest poll results before writing a slobbering column about Sarah Pali
February 12, 2010

Maybe David Broder should have waited until his own newspaper divulged their newest poll results before writing a slobbering column about Sarah Palin. Because wouldn't ya know, she's taken a huge dive in the polls.

I wrote a while ago that going off on her book tour would give her a nice bounce in the polls, but while the money was great, the hype would wear off long before 2012 came rolling along, and she's not going to be able to tour the country with as much positive media coverage as she did this time around.

Here's what the poll said:

Although Palin is a tea party favorite, her potential as a presidential hopeful takes a severe hit in the survey. Fifty-five percent of Americans have unfavorable views of her, while the percentage holding favorable views has dipped to 37, a new low in Post-ABC polling.

There is a growing sense that the former Alaska governor is not qualified to serve as president, with more than seven in 10 Americans now saying she is unqualified, up from 60 percent in a November survey. Even among Republicans, a majority now say Palin lacks the qualifications necessary for the White House.

Palin has lost ground among conservative Republicans, who would be crucial to her hopes if she seeks the party's presidential nomination in 2012. Forty-five percent of conservatives now consider her as qualified for the presidency, down sharply from 66 percent who said so last fall.

Among all Republicans polled, 37 percent now hold a "strongly favorable" opinion of Palin, about half the level recorded when she burst onto the national stage in 2008 as Sen. John McCain's running mate.

Among Democrats and independents, assessments of Palin also have eroded. Six percent of Democrats now consider her qualified for the presidency, a drop from 22 percent in November; the percentage of independents who think she is qualified fell to 29 percent from 37 percent.

And to all those who are enthralled with the mystical independent voters, she's dropped eight points. It's still very early, but these plummeting poll numbers shouldn't be ignored.

Since the book tour, she's become a Fox News analyst, appeared with on all the Fox shows, including with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, and was the highly paid main speaker at Tea Party National Convention. I guess it doesn't take a scandal or a major gaffe to sink this quickly after all. Or maybe Americans are getting saturated with Palin and she's losing her "populist edge."

I don't think she should be taken lightly myself, but I found these numbers quite surprising. I expected the bump she got from the book tour would last a bit longer. Joe Klein makes a good point when he says:

The speech was inspired drivel, a series of distortions and oversimplifications, totally bereft of nourishing policy proposals — the sort of thing calculated, carefully calculated, to drive lamestream media types like me frothing to their keyboards. Palin is a big fat target, eminently available for derision. But I will not deride. Because brilliance must be respected, especially when it involves marketing in an era when image almost always passes for substance. (See the top 10 unfortunate political one-liners.)

I don't agree with his use of the word "brilliance," but in the era of 24/7 cable TV, Fox News and Frank Luntz, marketing is a huge weapon. I have no doubt that she will improve as time goes by, but if America isn't buying her act at this point, I'm not sure they ever will.

The Moderate Voice has more.

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