November 18th, 2010
09:08 AM ET
3 years ago

Palin says she can win, but faces uphill climb

(CNN) – Sarah Palin wants to make one thing clear: contrary to the opinions of many Beltway Republicans, she can beat President Obama in a 2012 matchup.

But a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll indicates Palin has a steeper climb than many other leading Republicans when it comes to winning the Oval Office.

"I believe so," Palin said during an interview for an upcoming Barbara Walters special, when asked if she thought she could defeat the sitting president. "I'm looking at the lay of the land now, and ... trying to figure that out, if it's a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it's a good thing."

Still, should Palin throw her hat in the ring, she will have some work to do. Unlike most of those in the likely Republican presidential field, she is a well a known national figure, even a celebrity. This can of course be a considerable advantage over candidates who will have to spend millions of dollars and painstaking effort to get their name out.

But in Palin's case, almost half of all Americans have already formed a negative opinion about her – the same hurdle that the- Sen. Hillary Clinton faced as she was considering a White House bid in 2006 and 2007. In the most recent CNN poll, 49 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion of the former Alaska governor while 40 percent said they had a favorable opinion.

Things look even more grim for Palin when it comes to a head-to-head matchup with Obama: the poll showed Palin trailing by 8 points, 52-44 percent - a performance that is considerably weaker than other possible 2012 contenders.

In fact, the same poll showed former presidential candidate Mitt Romney leading Obama by 5 points, 50-45 percent, Mike Huckabee, another former presidential candidate, ahead of Obama by 8 points, 52-44 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich behind Obama by only 2 points, 49-47 percent. Full results (pdf)

Of course, just ask President Obama how long two years in politics is. These days, Americans' opinions change faster than polls can be conducted, and in the upcoming New York Times Magazine profile of Palin, one advisor sounds a confident tone that a few strong primary debate performances will easily change Palin's favorability numbers:

"Look, everyone has an opinion about Sarah Palin," John Coale, a friend and advisor to Palin told the magazine. "But suppose when she starts doing the debates during the primaries, she knocks it out of the park. That would cause an entirely different view of things, wouldn't it?"

The CNN poll surveyed 1,006 Americans by telephone between October 27-30 and carries an overall sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: President Obama • Sarah Palin
soundoff (198 Responses)
  1. Terry

    When is the media going to quit promoting this half-wit? Her 15 minutes has come and gone – ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

    November 18, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. geecee

    Well, this confirms it. The woman is certifiable and delusional. But, please, go for it Sarah. Divide the Repugnant Party so they will have a mess on their hands come 2012. Obama has absolutely nothing to worry about.

    November 18, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. Joshua Ludd

    She won't run.. there is no money in it. She has nothing to gain and everything to lose by running... even if she wins. Then she has the responsibility of actually holding office and doing things... and being held responsible for what she does. That is not Palin's style. She has found it is much more lucrative to be a media butterfly who holds no office and truly represents no one but herself and her own interests... but who is reported on just about every day by networks like CNN.

    November 18, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. Larry

    The problem is Falin...You can not hide on FOX during a Presidential Campaign...You will actually have to answer some tough questions...like, "What magazines, newspapers do you read?"

    November 18, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. NameEllie

    This broad is one cuckoo bird if she thinks she comes close to beating President Obama!!! She's a historic JOKE, she's a bonifide QUITTTER, and she is dumber than a rock when it comes to foreign and domestic policies!!! NOT to mention she does nothing but HIDES from being officially vetted. She's scared to be vetted because Sarah Palin knows she is NOT qualified to be. President, even the GOP knows this fact.

    November 18, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. TheTruth

    I hope she does run for President. Then she will be forced to see reality and will not be able to lie as much as she does now. She will have to speak to all Americans , it won't always be a tea party rally. Can't wait to see a debate when she will actually have to understand the problems in America and comment instead of the sound bites she spews coast to coast.

    November 18, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  7. Danigirl

    Palin knocking a debate "out of the park?" I seriously doubt it – unless you win by winks and "you betchas"

    November 18, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  8. Living in America

    She will become President serve 6 months and quit to become a millionaire and have a reality show called My America. Yep folks will vote for her.

    November 18, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  9. AngryVoter

    I can't believe anyone is taking Sarah Palin seriously! This woman has everyone bamboozled. She has no credibility, she's a fear monger and has done nothing but take financial advantage of her celebrity. And that's what she is a Celebrity. I do not want a person that I would not trust to lead me across the street to be the leader of the free world!

    November 18, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  10. Antonio

    Seriously, does anyone actually believe that Palin could "... knock it out of thepark" in a debate situation. She can't pull the same stunt she pulled in the debate against Joe Biden – the "I'm not going to answer your questions but I'm going to speak directly to the American people." That stuff won't fly. She has to have some basic knowledge of policy questions and has to be able to provide a clear picture of how she is going to proceed to implement them. It's a whole lot different from giving sarcastic speeches to a receptive audience of supporters or being "interviewed" on Fox News. She is intellectually lazy and won't stand up well against people like Romney and Gingrich.

    November 18, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. Anonymous

    This whole political thing seems like a game to her. Her learning curve does not even have an angle, it goes straight up. Has she ever mentioned possible solutions or just a lot of finger pointing?

    November 18, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  12. FM

    Just jump on it Sarah and test Americans way of thinking, while the entire world is witnessing what is going on in the greatest nation on earth!

    November 18, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  13. Gus

    She made her millions already, now she needs to go away. She is all froth in the mouth with no substance or intelligence. She has nothing to offer to this country except hate and division.

    November 18, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  14. cel

    If she thinks she can win, why doesn't she go ahead and and announce instead of doing this stealth campaign on her tv show and in the media ? She can't win, she knows there aren't enough morons out there to elect her, even if all of them vote.
    I remind everyone that when the Anti-Christ comes, it will be in the female form. Well, here she is.

    November 18, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. sara

    Sara Palin is one crafty person. She has had her eye on 2012 for some time. She will give them a run for their money, if nothing else.. I would never vote for her, but there are other who would.

    November 18, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  16. Tony

    Go Palin!!! All Democrats and Republicans (except moderate Republicans, but they are becoming extinct anyway) are behind your plan to get the Republican nomination!!!

    November 18, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. Steven

    This whole political thing seems like a game to her. Her learning curve does not even have an angle, it goes straight up. Has she ever mentioned possible solutions or just a lot of finger pointing?

    November 18, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  18. WE are not retards Sara

    Sarah is delusional if she thinks shes going to run this country! We need to look not further than her daughters...the poster children for birth control, the anti family.
    She should just pose for playboy now, before she's old wrinkled and yesterdays news....

    November 18, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. JAB

    At this time I haven't heard her say anything other than sound bites that her base loves to here. She is going to have to have some actual ideas and so far she doesn't seem to have any. Not only that she left the governors office before completing her term because she apparently couldn't stand the scrutiny. That will be much, much worse in a presidential race.

    November 18, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  20. Christopher

    President Palin? We, as a nation, are exactly stupid enough to create such a monster. A stupid monster, but a monster.

    November 18, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. bailoutsos

    President of a sorority? Why yes Miss Congeniality, you could win.

    November 18, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. Duke13

    Although I'm not happy with B.O. there is absolutely no way I could ever vote for sister Sarah.

    Palin's #1 goal in life is simply self enrichment, which is obvious since she resigned as Governor of Alaska.

    November 18, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. katie

    Everyday CNN puts something about Sarah Palin on it's website and it always looks like a negative until you read the article. The thing I find interesting is there are several other potential Presidental candidates (Huckabee, Romney,Gringrich etc) but they always focus on Sarah Palin. So my conclusion is she is in fact the most likely to beat Obama and therefore the Left's biggest nightmare. We all know we don't focus on those we do not consider a contender or a worthy opponet. The more they go after her the bigger she becomes..... So keep it up and we may in fact see our first female President. The highly educated male occupants of the office haven't done such a great job, recently, so perhaps this is the time.

    November 18, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Jay

    I think we would be screwed if this moron won the presidency

    November 18, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. Buddy

    But first she has to knock it out of the park. I wouldn't waste a bet on her doing that.

    November 18, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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