Post-Arizona Obama Job Approval Stable, Palin’s Unfavorable Rating Rises

Yet another post-Arizona poll:

Obama’s job-approval rating is 47% — precisely where it was in early January — and his favorable rating is 53%, up a bit from recent months. House Speaker John Boehner’s favorable rating is 42%, almost exactly where Democrat Nancy Pelosi stood when she became speaker four years ago. Sarah Palin’s favorable rating dropped to 38%, the lowest since just after bursting onto the national scene as John McCain’s running mate in 2008. In the wake of controversy over her response to the Tucson shooting, her unfavorable rating hit a new high, 53%.

Another poll, from Public Policy Polling, seems to confirm the suspicion that many had that Sarah Palin ended up damaging herself with her intemperate response last week:

Despite endless discussion in the wake of the Arizona shootings about whether Palin might bear any responsibility for fostering an atmosphere conducive to such an attack, 64% of Americans firmly say Palin has no culpability to just 26% who think she is partly to blame. Even among Americans with an unfavorable opinion of Palin- the vast majority of them- most don’t think she should be getting the shooting pinned on her in any way, shape, or form.

Beyond that there are a significant number of voters, even beyond Palin’s small group of partisans, who think she gets treated unfairly by the media. 45% of voters in the country think Palin gets a bad shake from the press to 47% who think that she is treated fairly. Given that Palin’s favorability is a 35/58 spread, these numbers show that there are a decent number of voters who don’t even like Palin who still think she gets treated unfairly.


Most Americans familiar with Palin’s video response to the Arizona shootings think it was inappropriate- that’s where 40% of voters stand to 33% who were not familiar with her response and 27% who thought it was fine. Even among Republicans only 41% thought that what she did was proper- Democrats (60%) are much more unified in their feeling that it was not. Independents split toward thinking the video was inappropriate as well by a 42/28 margin.

Where does Palin stand now? In our monthly 2012 Presidential poll, which we’ll release later this week, she trails Barack Obama by 17 points. That’s the largest deficit we’ve found for her since May of 2009.

This strikes me as one of those instances where Palin probably would’ve done herself more good if she’d just stayed quiet, at least for a few more days

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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. Gee, Doug: you are just so obsessed!

  2. Earl says:

    I love the ad hominem attacks on anyone who dares says anything that is not total worship of Sarah Palin.

    She yet again did/said something stupid. But nobody is allowed to say anything about it? You can’t have it both ways. I refuse to allow that woman continue to get away with all the crap she already does. The only unfair treatment that woman gets is a free pass. I think the media lets her off easy and you can so tell why certain men defend her. What are you, like 12 years old? Do you really lack that much self discipline that you can’t tell how stupid she is because she’s got boobs?

  3. Doctor John says:

    Don’t you think she looks tired?

  4. Tano says:

    Gee Doug – you seem to be missing the forest for the trees here.

    Look at the RealClear Politics trend line on Obama approval. LINK As of a few weeks ago, almost all the polls were in negative territory. Now they are all positive. In the graph, you can see a very sharp uptick. Hell, according to both the CNN and ABC/WaPo polls, his approval is higher than the margin by which he won election.

    And all you can do is call that “stable”?