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Obama 55, Palin 42 (Plus $12 Million)

obama-palinWere a presidential election being held today, President Barack Obama would be former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin 55 to 42, a new CNN poll shows.

President Barack Obama’s job approval may have slid — 51 percent in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, 46 today in the Gallup daily track, 45 yesterday.

But given a choice of the first-term Democratic president and the former governor of Alaska, 55 percent of those surveyed by CNN pick Obama, 42 percent Sarah Palin.

That may have a lot to do with how many people view Palin, the Republican Party’s 2008 nominee for vice president, as qualified to serve as president: 30 percent. More than two thirds, 69 percent, say the Republican is unqualified for the office.

Obama’s own personal favorable rating stands at 57 percent in the CNN survey, Palin’s at 39 percent. More, 55 percent, hold an unfavorable view of her.

It’s not surprising that a sitting president would win re-election over a polarizing figure who’s not currently running for president.  Nor is it surprising that Obama is the favorite for 2012; re-electing presidents is our default position.  Nor is it surprising that the overwhelming majority of Americans think Palin unqualified for the presidency:  Survey after survey has shown that since the fall of 2008.

No, what’s interesting is that Palin is essentially maxing out the poll.  That is, Obama’s total is precisely the 55 percent who hold an unfavorable view of Palin.  Conversely, Palin is getting a third more of the “vote” than find her minimally qualified.

The Tribune’s Mark Silva opines,

A lot of this also may help to explain why Palin is pursuing television and book deals rther than the party’s 2012 nomination.

Maybe.  That’s been my working assumption for awhile.  If so, Palin is playing her hand brilliantly.  Reports surfaced yesterday that she has earned $12 million since quitting the governorship last July. That’s not a bad consolation prize!

Oh, and Palin’s polling about the same as other Republican contenders.

A Republican widely viewed as likely to seek the 2012 GOP nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, stands a little stronger against Obama in the CNN survey of registered voters: Obama 53 percent, Romney 45 percent.   But none of the Republicans named in the survey — Arkansas’ Mike Huckabee, Romney, Palin and Georgia’s Newt Gingrich — draw more than one quarter of the support of the Republicans surveyed.

If the economy doesn’t turn around magnificently by the summer of 2012, Obama’s beatable.  But I’m not sure who the Republicans can nominate someone who can do the job.   Of those named, Romney is likely the best candidate.  And that’s a sad statement, indeed.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. “Were a presidential election being held today,”

    I’d be really upset because nobody told me I needed to vote this morning.

    Like James says, there’s nothing about this that is surprising.

    And if Romney really is the best hope of beating Obama in 2012, then, well, that’s just depressing.

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  2. James Joyner says:

    I just think Romney is the candidate from the choices offered who could best stand a general election fight. And I think he’s the frontrunner for the nomination, too.

    My hope is that there’s some governor out there that we don’t know well who’ll surprise us. But I kinda doubt it. The campaign begins in earnest in a few months and, absent a celebrity candidate like David Petraeus (who I don’t think will run) it’s probably already too late to start fundraising.

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  3. I keep hearing Mitch Daniels name coming up, and Rick Perry. Although I think Republicans are done with Governors from Texas for another decade or so…..

    The one thing I like to keep in mind is that at about this point in the 08 cycle, everyone thought Rudy Giuliani was the candidate to beat.

    Of course, in 08 we ended up with McCain so that pattern didn’t exactly work out either did it ?

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  4. sam says:

    A lot of this also may help to explain why Palin is pursuing television and book deals rther than the party’s 2012 nomination.

    But don’t you think the essence of her caché is the possibility in the minds of her audience of her as a presidential candidate? I used to think she wouldn’t run for the reasons set out above. But now I think that for her to keep this money machine going, she will have to run, even if she knows she’ll lose. In fact, I might go further and say she’ll run because she does know she’ll lose. What better way to show her solidarity with the victimology of her followers?

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  5. Highlander says:

    Like most things in the the political/MSM world, the polling industry is totally corrupted.

    There are multiple ways to cook a poll, to give what ever results you desire(I have had a few cooked to order myself).

    CNN is one of our MSM versions of the old Soviet newspaper of record,Pravda,and CNN has about the same credibility. That is why it’s viewer ship is collapsing.

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  6. UlyssesUnbound says:

    This poll can’t be right. Zels has been telling us for months that America supports Palin, anyone who doesn’t believe so is a Marxist idiot, and she will win the election in 2012. Clearly these pollsters, and 55 percent of the people polled, are just biased.

    Doug,

    I think Mitch Daniels actually would have a very decent shot of beating Obama in a nation wide contest simply based on electoral politics. He could take out the Midwest, and a lot of the purplish plains/mountain states. The election would come down to Florida again.

    That said, I don’t think he has a snowball’s chance of winning the nomination itself.

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  7. Maggie Mama says:

    Are Republicans going to let the MSM pick their presidential candidate again this go round?

    Forget Palin. Do not mention Palin. Drop the obsession with Palin.

    There has got to be someone out there who isn’t in the limelight yet. Some nice quiet silent majority GOPer who fits the program.

    After all, how many Americans had heard of Sarah Palin until McJerkoff picked her?

    Let’s keeping looking. But shut up on Palin already.

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  8. john personna says:

    Reports surfaced yesterday that she has earned $12 million since quitting the governorship last July.

    Good work if you can get it.

    There was some news on the radio yesterday about a California state university paying Palin for a visit. “State officials are looking into what the cash-strapped school is paying Palin to speak.”

    The fault there wouldn’t be Palin’s …

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  9. sam says:

    There was some news on the radio yesterday about a California state university paying Palin for a visit

    See this story on the college students who found a copy of her contract with the uni in a dumpster. Evidently, among other things contractual, she demands to be flown around like some modern version of Augustus Caesar.

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  10. Bill H says:

    Conversely, Palin is getting a third more of the “vote” than find her minimally qualified.

    Which pretty much shows how badly democracy is failing in this country. One third of the people who picked her in the poll did so even though they also said that she was not qualified to be president. They did so because they will vote for a stuffed owl if it is on the Republican ticket. Just as a certain number of people will vote for a toy panda bear if it is a Democrat.

    Just as anyone promising tax cuts will be elected, especially if they are simultaneously promising to provide more services and reduce the deficit. Anyone suggesting tax increases will be soundly defeated.

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  11. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    You must have asked Democrats who they favored. 62% of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction. You can analyze the data anyway you choose, but if you believe Obama would be reelected to day you have your head up an orifice it does not belong in. Pay attentions to what happens tomorrow at gatherings all around the country then tell me again how popular this lop is. Bozo the clown will be able to defeat Obama, yo mama, in 2012.

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  12. PD Shaw says:

    sam, as a condition of doing the fundraiser, she wanted to be flown first-class from her home in Alaska. I don’t find that odd. Is there anything disclosed that Bill Clinton wouldn’t demand for a fundraising appearance?

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  13. PD Shaw says:

    Also, a poll out today showing that 48% of Americans would prefer Obama as President today to 46% who would prefer George W to return. LINK

    I think the Republicans need someone who can cash in on Bush’s favorabilities, while distancing themselves from the negatives accumulated by the end of his Presidency. Jeb?

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  14. sam says:

    Is there anything disclosed that Bill Clinton wouldn’t demand for a fundraising appearance?

    Somehow, I don’t that very attenuating.

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  15. Janis Gore says:

    Hell, if I had twelve million bucks I wouldn’t fly coach either.

    How long she can keep making money and demanding first class accommodations and remain good plain folk just like the patriotic, real Americans in the heartland is another question.

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  16. steve says:

    James-Why do you keep forgetting the winner take all Republican primary system? Romney is not going to excite people to go out and vote. Palin has a solid core who will vote for her no matter what. I see her taking an early lead in the primaries which will force the party elites into a tough situation. Do they support the media darling they created and risk alienating their base, or do they gamble on being able to control her once in office if she wins.

    Steve

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  17. Trumwill says:

    Which pretty much shows how badly democracy is failing in this country. One third of the people who picked her in the poll did so even though they also said that she was not qualified to be president. They did so because they will vote for a stuffed owl if it is on the Republican ticket. Just as a certain number of people will vote for a toy panda bear if it is a Democrat.

    Ideology matters, though. I am not a straight-ticket voter, but I would rather have someone unqualified attempting to push legislation I agree with than someone qualified pushing legislation that I am opposed to. I’m not really sure what’s wrong with that.

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  18. C.Red says:

    Ideology matters, though. I am not a straight-ticket voter, but I would rather have someone unqualified attempting to push legislation I agree with than someone

    Do you feel the same way about your plumber, your mechanic and your doctor?

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  19. Trumwill says:

    Do you feel the same way about your plumber, your mechanic and your doctor?

    There are circumstances in which I would go to a less qualified plumber, mechanic, or doctor over a more qualified one based on their work philosophy and what they wanted to try to do to my pipes, car, or body. You want someone that you are in sync with and that is qualified, but sometimes you don’t have all the choices you would like.

    If a state representative somehow got the nod for president and wanted to pull the government in just the way I wanted, and he was running against a big state governor that was capable but wanted to do everything that I oppose… I’d vote for the state rep. You wouldn’t?

    I’m not saying that qualifications don’t matter. It’s just one piece of the puzzle. If I were a hard-core liberal I would vote for Senator Obama (whom I did not believe was qualified) before I would vote for Jeb Bush (who is more qualified). If I were a hard-core conservative, I would vote for Sarah Palin (whom I do not believe is qualified) before I would vote for Gray Davis (who is more qualified). You wouldn’t?

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  20. Have a nice G.A. says:

    To see a absolute nobody like Obama get elected for no good reason except(the only reason for any liberal) the hatred for the overt Christian Bush.

    It’s gonna be poetic social justice to see Palin elected for the same reason.

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