Sarah Palin could very well be unelectable. Try to “refudiate” it all they want, supporters of the one-time governor of Alaska cannot escape her poor polling numbers. And those numbers, as evidenced in a recent Pew Research survey, do not just reflect an electorate that find her unpopular as a presidential candidate, they also show that there are many Republicans who would not vote for her.
According to the poll, Palin, who has yet to decide on whether or not she will run for the highest office in the land, only 13 percent of registered voter respondents said that there was a “Good” chance they would vote for her, with only 19 percent saying that there was some chance they might. A full 67 percent said there was “None.” To make the numbers comparatively worse, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who lead all the declared and potential candidates, scored 12 percent less as a recognized contender but saw 16 percent of the electorate saying there was a “Good” chance and 38 percent noting there was “Some” chance they could be persuaded to vote for him. Only 42 percent said they was no chance they would vote for Romney.
Of the nine 2012 GOP candidates, Palin placed eighth overall in appeal to registered voters, placing only a percentage point ahead of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in the total of “Good” and “Some” chance respondents. But she also polled the worst among those who said there was no chance they would vote for her.
And those poll numbers are partially bolstered by a heavy number of Republicans that do not support her candidacy as well. The Pew report indicates that among Republican and Republican-leaning independents, only 24 percent say there is a “Good” chance they’ll vote for her, with another 34 percent saying there was “Some” chance. But 41 percent say there is no chance she can win their vote.
To win elections, one has to get the support of the electorate. In a presidential election, a contender has to first get their political party behind them. For many, it takes time, hard work, and maximizing one’s opportunities. For some, it might take only a good showing in a debate, a resonating sound bite, or simple charismatic appeal. Palin — as the Undecider — has strung out the possibility of her participation for three years, perhaps to the point that many Republicans and the electorate at large no longer consider her a serious presidential candidate. She has had all of the aforementioned advantages to gain support, not to mention financial backing and media accessibility. Still, she has hovered primarily within the 10-15 percent range in most national polls.
And she has a history of being considered unelectable — even among voters in her own party.
Back in October, former White House political advisor Karl Rove said that former Alaska governor Palin lacked “gravitas,” that she could only capture a following of “true believers,” that Americans would reject her. He most recently told “Fox News Sunday” that she had teased the country long enough and had run out of time, stating that her announcement about her decision to run would come around the Labor Day weekend or shortly thereafter. And although he could be incorrect in his prediction of when she might — or might not — announce, it is beginning to look as if his assessment of her political standing among the electorate might have been point on.
As for whether or not Sarah Palin might actually run, her latest “undecided” comment came via CNN, where she indicated to a correspondent that she would most likely make an announcement by the end of September.