Sarah Palin Remains The Most Polarizing Political Figure In America

It doesn’t appear that Sarah Palin’s reality show/Alaskan travelogue/hunting documentary is doing much of anything to change wht the American public thinks of her:

WASHINGTON — Sarah Palin is the most polarizing of the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, while impressions of Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney lean more positive, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee, is the best-known and most divisive of the bunch. In the wake of her high-profile role in endorsing candidates all over the country, 46 percent of Americans view her favorably, 49 percent unfavorably and 5 percent don’t know enough about her to form an opinion.

Her “don’t know” score is considerably lower than those registered by other possible candidates tested in the poll

This is consistent with polls that we’ve seen for months that show that the public’s opinion of Sarah Palin is largely set in stone. People either like her or dislike her, and in both cases the feeling is typically strong and seemingly immobile. There are few people who have “no opinion” of Sarah Palin, and even fewer who say they don’t know enough about her to have any opinion.

Also, the poll shows the same sort of partisan divide when it comes to Palin; Republicans love her, Independents and Democrats most definitely do not:

In terms of winning the 2012 nomination, the question is how Republican-leaning Americans view the contenders. Palin comes out on top. Among adults who identify themselves as Republicans or GOP-leaning independents, 79 percent view her favorably, and 17 percent unfavorably.

These findings worry many Republican officials. The poll suggests Palin might be able to win the nomination. But among independents — who could be the deciding factor in the general election — just 43 percent hold a favorable view of Palin, compared with 61 percent with a positive view of Obama.

And with half of independents viewing Palin unfavorably, she would have to work hard to persuade a majority of voters to back her.

Palin’s numbers are just as bad in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released today:

The other chief headline in the NBC/WSJ poll is Sarah Palin’s starting position for 2012, if she decides to run. In addition to Obama leading her by a whopping 22 points — compared with Romney’s seven-point deficit, and a generic GOP candidate’s three-point deficit in the poll — Palin’s negative rating has climbed to 50%. That’s the highest negative rating for anyone measured in this poll (and it’s two points lower than Nancy Pelosi’s negative rating from last month). And get this: The only major subgroups that Palin wins in a head-to-head match-up with Obama are Republicans, conservatives, and FOX viewers. That’s it, folks. NBC/WSJ co-pollster Bill McInturff (R) says that this is “a sobering starting point” for Palin if she decides to run for president

For a person who doesn’t want to be embarrassed and ruin their parties chances in 2012, it would be a reason not to run. One wonders how Palin evaluates such information.

Republicans, the message is clear – support this woman for your nomination and you are handing the White House back to Barack Obama on a silver platter, and who knows what else.

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. mantis says:

    Why do you hate Palin so much? Obama quit his job too, you know (and he’s a Kenyan!). Palin is the smartesterest, best-looking, awesomest superwoman ever, and she’s going to be president of the universe in two years. You’re just scared of her because you hate women and you’re a socialist pawn of George Soros.

    There. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

  2. Bruce Majors says:

    Congress has lower approval ratings. And Obama’s continue to slide.

    And they don’t have bloggers and the media aligned against them.

  3. anjin-san says:

    She can also Kilt a Bar, which will install fear in Muslims, Democrats, and our other enemies…

  4. An Interested Party says:

    “Congress has lower approval ratings. And Obama’s continue to slide.

    And they don’t have bloggers and the media aligned against them.”

    It’s so nice to see her defenders practice the same victimization and whining that she has used…oh, and the president’s negatives will never approach hers…

  5. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***It’s so nice to see her defenders practice the same victimization and whining that she has used…oh, and the president’s negatives will never approach hers…***lol, have you ever seen Obama’s crybaby they did it it wasnt me looking a$$, COME ON!!!!!!

    Your saviour is a megalomaniac A$$hole of the highest order and it takes the entire MSNM status propaganda machine and trillions of begged borrowed and printed money to keep his numbers at the sucky levels that they are at.

    But but that Sara Palin is a christian women that’s against abortion and supports the troops, GET HER!!!!!!!!!!!

    OH my darwin she believes in the constitution Get her!!!!!!!

    She believes that people should keep the money they earn get her!!!!!

  6. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “Sarah Palin is the most polarizing of the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates…”

    In other news, dog bites man.

  7. Dodd says:

    Doug’s writing about Sarah Palin. Must be a day ending in Y.

  8. John425 says:

    Well, at least Doug isn’t obsessed with Sarah Palin’s uterus like Andrew Sullivan. You aren’t, are you Doug?

  9. An Interested Party says:

    G.A.Phillips, the president is hardly my “savior”…the irony of your statement is that there are plenty of people out there, including more than a few who comment in these parts, who treat Sarah Palin as if she were the Virgin Mary worthy of their love and devotion…

  10. Smooth Jazz says:

    Good one John, Good one. The guy probably goes to sleep thinking about his next whack job on Palin. He probably mutters to himself “Palin is Polarizing”, “Palin is Polarizing” Palin is Polarizing” all day to get himelf through most days. His head will probably explode when he hears she leads the Repub field in the critical states of OH and WIS according to PPP and DailyKOS.

    Too bad he cannot tell the Repub voters of OH and WIS who they should select as a Presidential candidate.

  11. Smooth Jazz says:

    Only on a Palin Hating blog would 46-49 be viewed as “Polarizing”. Have you checked Obambi’s ratings lately???. Marist had him at 42 – 49 the other day. Fox had him at 40 – 50 today. If Palin is polarizing, what would you call the Obambi numbers I cited above???. You may also want to doublecheck the internals of that NBC poll you just cited. They have Ds over Rs something like 41 – 30. I think MSNBC had a lot of input in that poll, and you know MSNBC likes Gov Palin as much as you do.

    You keep suggesting she should go back to her Alaska igloo and keep writing her off, but a lot can happen between now and 2012, assuming she decides to run: She can pick a complementary running mate who electrifies the ticket and balances her weaknesses, She could become more polished on the stump and in debates, etc, and become a viable candidate to a lot more people. Also, don’t underestimate the fact that if she wins the Repub nomination, that is a dynamic noone can measure insofar as how it gives her momentum and more credibility. All these factors are unknowables at this point in time, even to elites trying to tell her what to do.

    I do agree that she needs to refine her delivery and needs to be presentable in debates otherwise she will not get far.

  12. Smooth Jazz says:

    WTF??? Have you checked Obambi’s poll ratings lately. Google realclearpolitics; They compiled the numbers for you. You will note that Marist, Fox & Rasmussen has Obambi’s disapproval at 50, 51 & 50 respectively. That’s worse than the 49 number this Palin Hating blog cites as a “Polarizing” number for Palin. Obambi better be careful; He could be reaching the point of no return soon, wher even the hick from Alaska can take him out.

  13. anjin-san says:

    >she can pick a complementary running mate

    True. Someone who is qualafied, intelligent, articulate, reasonable, pragmatic and finishes what they start. That would be a ticket balancer…

    > Google realclearpolitics

    Why not just go to their site? You do know how to do that, don’t you? You use one of those URL gizmos…

  14. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Doug actually wishes he could attracked a woman as good looking as Sarah Palin. That fact leaves him bitter. Mataconis claims (at times) to be a libertarian yet he opposes most of the things that are quite libertarian about Palin. One must wonder why. You would think true libertarians would oppose any and everything Obama stands for. Me thinks Doug is secretly an Obamite.

  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***G.A.Phillips, the president is hardly my “savior”…***So then. you renounce him and all of his works? 🙂

    I see her getting beat on relentlessly and in the the fact that she is not qualified, lol who is Obama, Biden, lol…..
    Sorry bro I have been sick and feeling pissy, I have been trying not to be a dick in comments lately, I slipped up, forgive me.