More bad polling news for Sarah Palin. In fact, notably bad news for Palin. new Washington Post-ABC news poll shows her support is sagging badly among Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters:
Sarah Palin’s ratings within the Republican Party are slumping, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, a potentially troubling sign for the former Alaska governor as she weighs whether to enter the 2012 presidential race.
For the first time in Post-ABC News polling, fewer than six in 10 Republicans and GOP-leaning independents see Palin in a favorable light, down from a stratospheric 88 percent in the days after the 2008 Republican National Convention and 70 percent as recently as October.
All the news isn’t bad for Palin:
In one sense, the poll still finds Palin near the top of a list of eight potential contenders for the GOP nomination. The former vice presidential candidate scores a 58 percent favorable rating, close to the 61 percent for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and 60 percent for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and better than the 55 percent that onetime House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) received.
On the other hand:
But Palin’s unfavorable numbers are significantly higher than they are for any of these possible competitors. Fully 37 percent of all Republicans and GOP-leaning independents now hold a negative view of her, a new high.
In another first, fewer than 50 percent of Republican-leaning independents — 47 percent — hold favorable views of Palin.
Palin’s problem brings back political memories of 1984 when “Where’s the beef?” became a catchphrase due to a Wendy’s hamburgers commercial. Walter Mondale used the catchphrase in a question to Senator Gary Hart.
In Palins’ case, she seems to have a “beef” with a lot of people.
But in terms of specific policy ideas many Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have asked themselves “Where’s the beef?”.
And — except for increasingly poor polling — they don’t see the beef.
They may be concluding that when they compare her to other potential candidates they see more baloney than beef.
Now, the Post’s point is that Palin’s popularity with Republicans is in a steep decline. That certainly appears to be the case. On the other hand, even after all of her various controversies and humiliations, Palin remains surprisingly popular with GOP voters. Indeed, of the possible presidential field, she’s trailing Huckabee and Romney by just a couple of points, and among those with a “strongly” favorable opinion, Palin is second only to Huckabee.
It may be counterintuitive, but I actually think this is good news for Palin. She’s done nothing but bring shame and embarrassment to herself on a nearly daily basis for years, and she’s likely dropped about as far as she can with the GOP. And at this point, she still enjoys favorable ratings from a clear majority of Republican voters.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.