Poll: Only 22% Of Americans Have Favorable Opinion of Sarah Palin

More confirmation that Sarah Palin is the most polarizing political figure in quite some time:

Sarah Palin is viewed unfavorably by nearly 50 percent of Americans, a new CBS News poll finds, a significant challenge for her to overcome should she enter the 2012 presidential race.

Palin is viewed favorably by just 22 percent of Americans, according to the poll – including less than half (44 percent) of Republicans. Twenty-one percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats view her favorably.

Forty-eight percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Palin. That includes 73 percent of Democrats, 44 percent of independents and 22 percent of Republicans.

Twenty-nine percent said they are undecided or not sure how they feel about Palin, including about one in three Republicans and independents.

Perhaps it’s easier to put it in graph form:

An ordinary politician faced with numbers like this would realize that winning national office simply isn’t possible, and thus wouldn’t even make the attempt.

Sarah Palin, however, is no ordinary politician, so I still wouldn’t be surprised to see her run.

FILED UNDER: 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. james says:
  2. Passerby says:

    Yippeee! America isn’t as dense as we had begin to suspect!

  3. Janis Gore says:

    I have a favorable opinion of Ms. Palin. She’s good-looking, fit, ambitious, has good habits, loves her family and country.

    And she has as much business being in the White House as I and my better-looking and much funnier older sister do.

  4. Brummagem Joe says:

    james says:
    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 19:09
    “Point of View: Take a look at another Point of View.”

    Er…..not quite the same is it…..quite apart from the fact it’s a Rasmussen poll

  5. Brummagem Joe says:

    Go for it Sarah. Your public (ie. James) demands it.

  6. James says:

    Rasmussen poll: The PC spin Neutral Polster Rasmussen poll 🙂

  7. Janis Gore says:

    James, the woman isn’t Margaret Thatcher. So which man do you want to install as her manager?

  8. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    She is so unpopular and yet she manages to sell millions of books, she can draw a crowd everywhere she appears, and OTB highlights her every chance it gets. She must be doing something right.

  9. Janis Gore says:

    She’s interesting as a phenomenon. She has charisma. What if Faith Hill had gone into politics?

  10. Sam says:

    CBS/ Times poll is flawed look at the data inside the poll

  11. James says:

    Smoke and Magic, spread the weath around, no yeald.

    Country Star, Governor, Old Field worker, Fishery,
    Record Sale unknow, Book Sale unknow, Create
    wealth, create jobs they are Free Market Capitalist.

    Statist take form the productive and give to the less
    productive. Where is the ROI ?

    Have you noticed the Government has created 14 trillion in debt, spead the Debt around,
    Hope you like the Debt !!!

  12. Janis Gore says:

    No, James. I’ll ask you again. This woman is not fit for the presidency. Who are you seeking as her managers? Kristol? Which others?

  13. Ellie Light says:

    Janis Gore for Obama’s braintrust!

    Go Palin, the El Presidente slayer.

  14. Janis Gore says:

    Ellie, you have no idea what I want.

  15. M.Joseph Sheppard says:

    This is a ridicuous poll-no other poll has such a large number of undecideds-anyone who was unbiased could recognize it for what it is.For rational argument look at pollster.com for their list of recent Palin polls without the nonesense that CBS presents-she averages about 40% favorable with CBS stripped out-unless you want to believe that only the CBS poll is correct and all the others are wrong.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    “She must be doing something right.”

    Indeed, she’s one hell of a celebrity…

  17. Smooth Jazz says:

    Manna from heavan for Doug & OTB: A CBS poll on Sarah Palin. CBS of Katie Couric fame, CBS of Dan Rather forged documents fame. Think about this: The Field Poll has her at 33% in Calif, one of the most Liberal states in the Country, and CBS has her at 22% nationally (Duh!!!). What does this tell you??? Other than they may have 90% Libs in the poll. As a point of reference, Rasmussen, which Libs are quoting now as the gospel for general balloting, had Gov Palin at 46/47 favorables a week ago. I guess ‘that” wasn’t worth posting about at OTB since it doesn’t fit the left wing memes pushed by this blog.

    You and I and the rest of this board knows what is going: You have longed viewed Gov Palin as the “most” polarizing figure in the US, and anything that reinforces your pre conceived bias, even from an agenda pushing organization like CBS, is manna from heaven for you. Btw, There is ample evidence that “Barack Obama” is the most polarizing figure in the US with 90% support among blacks and sub 30% & 40% support

    If Gov Palin does seek higher office I will wait to see things play out in the Nov 2010 midterms and how she performs on the stump rather than relying on an obviouly biased poll.

  18. section9 says:

    CBS pushed this deeply toxic poll for a couple of reasons: base peddling and it’s trying to get eyeballs on its failing Evening News product.

    Polls like this are far from accurate. Anything Scotty Rasumussen, Gallup, or SurveyUSA does is usually light years ahead of CBS/NYT, which has a history of notoriously oversampling Dems and independents, and, I might add, using modeling from heavily Democratic turnout years like 2008.

    It also sounds to me as if the network is trying to curry favor with a White House that needs toxic Palin news to mobilize its base for what portends to be a poor election cycle for them.

    The good thing for Conservatives? CBS is a dying institution. They sacrificed their credibility on the altar of John Kerry’s and Barack Obama’s poltiical ambitions. Fewer and fewer eyeballs are tuning in to a bad product from a dying network. Let them be.

  19. Brummagem Joe says:

    Patrick T. McGuire says:
    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 22:30
    “She is so unpopular and yet she manages to sell millions of books, she can draw a crowd everywhere she appears…….. She must be doing something right.”

    Well that’s all about math and perception you see. There are about 310 million people in this country which is roughly 200 million adults. Republican regs are around 30% of the country or 60 million peope and of these about 4 million of them( 2% of all adults 6.6% of Republicans ) watch Fox News regularly and are presumably mainly kool aid drinkers. Thus, you have a kool aid demographic that is quite capable of producing the few thousand people who are willing to add to her wealth by buying tickets to turn up at her meetings (there are rumors of venues having to be changed from the thousands capacity to the hundreds so the cash registers are not perhaps ringing at the rates they were). Similarly this demographic will easily produce book sales of a few hundred thousand but competition is intense from others like Beck, Limbaugh, et al who are all drawing on the same well of the gullible. The Media is quite happy to play along with this because she has nice legs and is certain to say something stupid. Thus you have the appearance of huge support but it’s essentially an inverted pyramid.

  20. narciso says:

    Well look at this way 1/3 watch CBS, The Times is in such bad shape it needed an Mexican oligarch to bail it out,, it misinforms fewer and fewer people, Now you add to that atotally unrepresentative sample (adults) you figure an undecided quartile, bigger than your supposed
    result and you throw out the poll. You’re making me doubt the value of a Rutgers education, Doug

  21. Brummagem Joe says:

    narciso says:
    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 09:07

    If in doubt …shoot the messenger.

  22. anjin-san says:

    > She must be doing something right.

    Appealing to the lowest common denominator. Ugly, but often effective.It’s a big country, there are plenty of rubes ready to be taken…

  23. Smooth Jazz says:

    Obviously, he doesn’t care. The internals and underlying assumptions of the poll (44% of Repubs approve of her in this poll, when all other polls have her approval among Repubs at 70% – 80%) means nothing when you have an agenda to push and a bias that needs reinforcement. All he needs is a headline (Only 22% approve of Palin), and off he goes. I doubt whether he even looked at the particulars and internals of poll. I don’t think it has anything to do with his Rutgers education, and everything to do with reinforcing his “Palin is polarizing” meme.

  24. James says:

    De nial: “is a defense mechanism postulated , in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead …” Sigmund Freud

    Personal attacks are the de nial of the facts or Truth.
    We are a rock Star Culture, Ck the WH, BO. MO. JB 🙂

    De Nial has it’s fans (I.E. JG, JB. 🙂 Hope you like De Nial

    Doug he drives left (hand) of Center, it’s Progressive (De Nial) 🙂

    Bulliton: Doug Mataconis for Senator 🙂

  25. M.Joseph Sheppard says:

    Smooth Jazz is correct regarding the 70%-80% Republican rating which every other poll confirms. All others who have accepted this CBS poll including Mr. Rutgers are completely wrong, blinded by bias,or suffering from PDS.

  26. Brummagem Joe says:

    M.Joseph Sheppard says:
    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 14:43

    “All others who have accepted this CBS poll including Mr. Rutgers are completely wrong, blinded by bias,or suffering from PDS.”

    So the polls off. She’s approved of by 33%. She’s a shoo in for 2010. Hurrah, hang out the flags. Doug, you’re a lawyer. Explain the concept of materiality to these geniuses.

  27. M.Joseph Sheppard says:

    Brummagem Joe-as I explained it is not 22% or 33%.
    There has been a perhaps significant development in Palin’s recent polling, and most importantly the trend lines. The last time Palin’s favorable ratings were more positive than her unfavorable was October 2008 reaching a nadir of 35/57 in August 2010. Since then there has been a significant recovery with Rasmussen in September showing a 48/49 result. The most significant thing is the trend line which for the first time since October 2008 has reversed direction as per the Pollster.com aggregate map

    In fact, if we disregard the ridiculous CBS poll , Palin’s Favorables are 40.4% and Unfavorables are 50%.which are better than Reagan’s in his election run vs Carter at the start of the year-she has two years +.

    Also significantly, if we look at the two latest September polls, we find that the undecideds have dropped strikingly from earlier polls-it appears that undecided are moving in Palin’s favor and the average of the two latest polls is 46/49. If this trend continues it is only a matter of time before her positives are higher than negatives.

  28. Janis Gore says:

    We’re far out. Favorables don’t necessarily translate into votes. Speeches where she divides pro-choicers and pro-lifers into death cults and life cults won’t get her anywhere with me.

    How do her supporters plan to support her motherhood of Trig while she’s on the road for two years? She’ll have the first full media campaign for president from the studio in Alaska?

    Explain it to me.