Sarah Palin’s abrupt decision to resign as Governor has raised a flurry of speculation across the political spectrum about her current political prospects and her viability as a national candidate in 2012.
Few pundits, however, have focused on what polls actually reveal about Palin’s appeal as a national political figure. The numbers paint a grim picture for the once rising star of the GOP. At home in Alaska, the number of people saying they have a positive view of Palin has fallen precipitously from 89% in May 2008 to just 54% in May 2009 (Hays Research Group). By comparison, in the same May 2009 poll, 76% of Alaskans reported having a positive view of Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who recently slammed Palin for deciding to “abandon the state and her constituents”.
According to a national post-election survey conducted by Public Religion Research, the voting public was evenly split about whether Sarah Palin shared their values (49% agreeing vs. 45% disagreeing). Despite higher numbers identifying with Palin at the level of values, only 18% of American voters said Palin’s selection as McCain’s running mate made them more likely to vote for the Republican ticket. On the other hand, nearly one-quarter (24%) reported that her selection made them LESS likely to support the GOP ticket, and a majority (56%) report her selection made no difference.