Mark Blumenthal | November 30, 2009
Topics: National Journal column , Sarah Palin , Washington Post
My column for this week looks at what polls have to say about Sarah Palin's potential support should she choose to run for president in 2012. The short version: while she will face significant skepticism about her qualifications in a general election contest, her base of support among Republicans makes her a potentially formidable candidate for the Republican nomination.
I filed my column before the holiday last week, so I did not see the national survey of Republicans published today (story, data, graphics ) by The Washington Post. Their coverage includes a sidebar article on Palin that reports these findings:
Overall, 18 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents cited her as the person most representative of the party's core values, the highest percentage among prominent Republican figures. Among those who regularly listen to Limbaugh, however, Palin was cited by 48 percent, and among Beck's viewers, it was 35 percent, far surpassing others.
The pattern held when Republicans considered their possible choices for 2012. Palin led other Republicans, but with the support of just 17 percent. Forty-five percent of regular Limbaugh listeners said they would vote for her if their state's primary or caucus were held today, however, as did a third of those who regularly tune in to Beck's radio or television programs.
Almost half of all Republican and GOP-leaning independents alike said they think Palin has had a good effect on their party, compared with 20 percent who think she has had a negative effect. Eighty percent of Limbaugh listeners and 70 percent of Beck viewers said she has had a positive impact.
Again, Palin is not the first choice for a majority of Republicans in 2012, but she has a devoted base of support -- a good thing to start with in a multi-candidate primary election.