Getting to know you: Post-election, Sarah Palin's favorable rating rises again
Sarah Palin's favorable ratings are up again.
We should probably write something about that to keep Americans informed as the 2012 presidential race starts taking shape.
Predictably, a new Associated Press-GfK Poll finds Palin to be "the most polarizing of the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates." According to AP's numbers, 49% of Americans view the politician mother unfavorably, while 46% view her favorably. Five percent, far less than for other potential candidates, claim not to know enough to have an opinion.
Eleven months ago a Gallup Poll found Palin's favorability was at 44%, up from 40% two months before.
The AP poll could also have cited the majority of Americans who currently say they ...
Of course, if job qualifications were the determining factor in U.S. presidential elections, voters would never have gone for an unaccomplished ex-state senator from a corrupt big-city political machine over a veteran U.S. senator, former naval squadron commander and war veteran.
Or a former first lady, accomplished lawyer and twice-elected U.S. senator with an ex-president as a husband who's a fund-raising machine and way more popular than either of his successors.
Not to mention the recent Battleground Poll showing only 38% thought President Obama deserves reelection, while a clear majority (57%) would vote to replace him (44%) or consider someone else (13%).
What really matters 726 days out from the 2012 presidential election is not how Americans view Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee or some other GOP no-names. First things first in presidential politics.
What really matters politically now is how Republican Americans view those possible nominees.
Republicans are the ones who'll be attending the Iowa caucuses, slogging through the snow to New Hampshire's voting booths and going in short sleeves to vote in South Carolina, where Palin was a key factor in electing the state's new Republican governor, Nikki Haley.
Unless Howard Dean changes his mind, the GOP competition will draw the concentrated media publicity for months on end while the White House golfer complains about the Republican House and tries to convince people that 9% unemployment is way better than 9.6% unemployment.
In the determining area of Republican support, even without announcing a candidacy, Palin currently destroys her potential competitors, according to AP's findings.
This fuels verbal insanity among the woman's critics, who profess so much disdain for Palin that they can't resist attacking her at every opportunity. All of which, of course, makes her even more popular among fans. And intrigued bloggers.
Forget that without holding an elective office but talking common-sense "tea party" conservatism, Palin helped to lead the successful national "Fire Pelosi" GOP bus tour while helping elect a majority of those she endorsed, many of them women, raising millions of dollars and knocking off 18 of her 20 targeted Democrats in the largest midterm political slaughter since 1938 -- which was even before Joe Biden was born.
Fact: Palin is now viewed favorably by nearly 8 of 10 (79%) Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, while only 17% see her unfavorably.
Trailing her is Huckabee at 74-10, Romney at 64-18 and Newt Gingrich at 68-21. Then comes the pack of who-are-theys: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 28-13 and 59% Don't Know Enough, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour at 27-14-58, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels at 24-13-63 and South Dakota Sen. John Thune at 20-10-70.
Other than that, it looks darned near impossible for Palin to capture the GOP nomination in Tampa 21 months from now.
What George W. Bush really didn't say about Sarah Palin
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photo: Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel; Spencer Platt / Getty Images.