Palin Leads GOP 2012 Field, But Loses To Obama In New Poll

A new Quinnipiac Poll shows once again the disconnect that exists between attitudes toward Sarah Palin inside the Republican Party, and in the public as a whole:

President Barack Obama does not deserve a second term, American voters say 49 – 43 percent, and he is in a statistical dead heat with possible Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. President Obama leads Sarah Palin 48 – 40 percent.

Romney, Huckabee, Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are bunched together when Republican voters are asked who they prefer for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds.


In trial heats for 2012, former Massachusetts Gov. Romney receives 45 percent to 44 percent for Obama, while the president gets 46 percent to 44 percent for Mr. Huckabee. Matched against Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a virtual unknown to most voters, the president leads 45 – 36 percent.

“At this point, former Alaska Gov. Palin runs the worst against President Obama. Daniels is essentially a generic Republican because of his anonymity to most voters. Obama only gets 45 percent against him while he gets 48 percent against Ms. Palin,” said Brown. “She is very unpopular among independents and although she recently said she thought she could defeat Obama, the data does not now necessarily support that assertion.”

“Unlike Daniels, who is a political unknown to most Americans, virtually all voters have formed an opinion about Palin and that opinion is not encouraging for her candidacy.”

Ms. Palin is viewed the most negatively by the American people of the possible Republican candidates in 2012. She is viewed unfavorable by 51 percent of voters and favorably by 36 percent. Among independents, the key swing voting bloc, she has a negative 54 – 33 percent favorability rating.

Huckabee gets a 41 – 25 percent favorability rating and Romney gets a 38 – 26 percent score. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich gets a negative 30 – 43 percent score.

The numbers for the GOP nomination are as follows:

  • Palin 19%
  • Romney 18%
  • Huckabee 17%
  • Gingrich 15%
  • Pawlenty 6%
  • Daniels 2%
  • Barbour 2%
  • Thune 2%
  • DK/NA 17%

So, again, the most popular candidate inside the GOP is the least popular with the public as a whole. This is a dichotomy that can only lead to electoral disaster.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Problem is, I don’t think any of Palin’s serious contenders can win the general election either.

  2. Smooth Jazz says:

    Dude, Doug, Let me see if I can make this as plain as day for you: It isn’t 2012 yet. Heck, It isn’t even 2011 yet. You’re trying to extrapolate a Nov 2010 poll to 2012, based on negative impressions for a candidate in 2008 – before the candidate have had the opportunity to campaign in 2012. I see no reason why Gov Palin should take her ball and go home, because snotty liberals and left wing blogs decide beforehand that she is not Presidental.
    Posters are always chiding me for saying this is a left wing blog, but your treatment of Gov Palin, vis a vis the other candidates, indicates to me you have the mindset of the MSNBC, DailyKOS, HuffPost crowd – coastel elitists who are trying to define which candidate fits the paradigm considered acceptable, before the candidates have had a chance to define themselves. You don’t like Gov Palin; Fine, Whoopy doo; Join the crowd. That  doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get a chance to convince voters one way or the other.
    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Gov Palin has earned the right to jojn the fray if she so chooses. If she doesn’t measure up, then I’m sure she will be sent back to Fox or Wasilla or wherever. I don’t consider a sample in 2010 to be particularly relevant; Reagan was polling in the 30% range at one time. We don’t need snobs trying to force their will on the people.

  3. anjin-san says:

    Perhaps Jazz is correct, this has become a liberal blog. People of his… limited gifts post rants and nonsense, and are shouted down and humiliated by those who are actually informed and reasonable. Eventually they slink off into the sunset (see “Juneau”) or like bithead, only show up and further embarrass themselves occasionally.
    So yes, this is a liberal blog. Fairly to very bright and well informed people having a reasonably reasonable discussion about important issues.
    Run along Smooth, no place for you here  🙂