Palin’s Polling Problem

By Gorman Gorman

Nov 16, 2009 11:48am

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: If Sarah Palin is hoping that the media frenzy surrounding her new book will fuel a political comeback, some new numbers out today suggest how far back she'd be coming from.According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, 3 out of 5 Americans say they think Palin, R-Alaska, is not qualified to be president. They're not saying they don't like her, or wouldn't support her; they're saying she's unqualified for the job.Fifty-two percent say they view her unfavorably (34 percent say they "strongly" share that sentiment), while 43 percent have a favorable opinion.

Fifty-three percent say they definitely would not vote for Palin if she were to run for president in 2012.

ABC's polling director, Gary Langer, went back and checked a 2006 poll for similar feelings toward other contenders. Just 28 percent said they definitely wouldn't vote for Sen. John McCain in 2008, and 42 percent ruled out voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The numbers hint at one of many reasons that this week's Palin craze isn't being universally embraced by Republicans.

Bad polls are a problem for Palin on two levels. First, should she decide to run for president in 2012, she'd do so with a solid majority saying they will not consider voting for her. Political makeovers only go so far.

Second — and perhaps more troubling for Palin — these numbers will fuel a media storyline that would probably haunt her campaign every step of the way: The question from the start would be, can she win?

Hillary Clinton faced that, to some extent, in her early days as frontrunner. But the impact could be worse for Palin: She would be part of a crowded primary field, and you betcha every other candidate could take aim at her vulnerability on this front.

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