November 18th, 2010
09:08 AM ET
4 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. usualone

    Can anyone imagine her dealing with leaders around the world? Also, the Republicans who know how to run things certainly won't let her get the opportunity to run beyond the primaries, if she gets that far. She is all about monies for her family and quitting.

    November 18, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Robin Bray

    Does she even remember the last election? She lost and she wasn't even running against Obama. So now she thinks she is more qualified than McCain was. Most people with these kind of thoughts are committed by their families to get help.

    November 18, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Terry - Indiana

    Well, mine is one vote she will not get. The victory of Senator Murkowski over the hand-picked Palin entry (Miller) in her own state, presented all of the evidence that I needed to see and hear. When you quit a job as an elected official, and then use the gained notoriety to fleece the public of millions is evidence of greed, not public awareness.

    November 18, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. PK California

    This woman has delusional! John McCain opened up a Pandora's Box when he chose her for VP! She could NEVER run a country. All of her faults have been aired over and over but the Pity Party follows her every word, words which are written by someone else that she has no idea of the meaning. It's easy to strut around the country and criticise the administration, but to run one????????? Time the GOP got serious and put her down before this monster they created is completely out of control!

    November 18, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    In your dreams moron. You don't stand a chance of winning. And God forbid you do win, you would not last long.

    November 18, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    RUN Sarah RUN!!!

    Sarah Palin is as uninformed and as out of the mainstream as ever. Her "ideology" (if you want to call it that) is based on a mystery to me (and probably her too).

    If you took the soundbites out of her speeches it would go something like "Hi, I'm Sarah Palin

    Thank You Very Much!"

    November 18, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Stewart

    There is absolutely no circumstance under which I would vote for her. She already proved beyond doubt that she will abandon her constituents for her own personal gain when she resigned as the governor of Alaska to go make millions as a pundit.

    November 18, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. todd

    Except Sarah never came off as intelligent, and she does come off as extremely right wing. Of course, compared to Romney the mormon, Huckabee the televangelist, and Gingrich the cancerous wife abandoner, that isn't saying much.

    November 18, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. n

    "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?"

    Sorry, but this isn't going to happen. She doesn't know anything and she will have to eventually get in front of all the media, not just those reporters of her choosing. Earth to Sarah, reporters won't be playing "gotcha", they will be asking you the same questions that will be asked of any other candidate and you will royally screw them up. Just like with Katie Couric. You will be your won downfall. You "folksy" attitude will work well with the extreme right, but the majority of people are frightened of you. You are incompetent and you don't know it. That is scary. If you knew you were incompetent and were trying to hide it, you might make it a little further along. Nothing is worse than a person who is blinded by their own incompetence.

    November 18, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  10. George

    She has as much chance of being president as Tom Cruise does of ever winning an Oscar.

    November 18, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Tony in Maine

    Sarah couldn't take the stress of being Governor of Alaska, how on earth does she think she could handle ten minutes in the WH?

    November 18, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Duh

    Well of course she said she can win. What kind of presidential candidate would she be if she said in reality she had no chance. In order to win, she has to be able to win over not only democrats and independents, but moderate republicans. She has distanced herself from all of these groups with her extreme right wing talk.

    I can't imagine she would even survive the republican primaries. All they need to do is bring up that she quit as governor to make money, her lack of understanding of the health care bill, and general celebrity status. They tried to paint Obama as a celebrity, Palin literally embraced the status(reality show anyone?).

    You think the other republicans are going to give her an easy road? They will be in it, to win it too. She will be like the Rudy Guilini of the 08 election. Favored to win in the beginning, when straight downhill after that. And the media is going toe to toe to set her up for that, reporting every little thing she does and eventually the little piece of america that favors her will just get sick and tired of her.

    November 18, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. BlackPanther's2020

    These polls that are taken are an absolutely farce, i've conducted my own poll and the people that I poll absolutey WILL NOT VOTE FOR THE LIKES OF PALIN , NO MATTER WHAT ........

    November 18, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Marry

    Dear CNN, it is an insult of you to put the name of a quitter like Ms Palin into the same sentence with that of President Obama. And, it is simply disgusting of you to try to hype something into being that does not exist. So unless you have a serious statement from Ms Palin besides her one-liners, please refrain from spreading stupid stories that would only make Foxx proud.

    November 18, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. johnrj08

    The only "outlook" that could possibly be grim for Palin is that she will fall out of the public spotlight and people will finally get tired of seeing and hearing her (if they haven't already). It's a win-win for Palin if she runs for president. Even a shellacking in a national election would only result in higher speaking fees and another book that she'll pay someone else to write for her. This woman has no clue how irresponsible her rhetoric is and how much she has personally contributed to the toxic political atmosphere in this country. If she does, she obviously couldn't care less.

    November 18, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. Steve

    "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."

    This looks like a list of talking points written on her hand: land, figure, country, discourse, family, thing. Put it all together and you get Palin speak.

    November 18, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. Sgt. Joe

    The delusion of this self-absorbed "jabber barbie" is certifiable. Thanks for whomever coined that name, I can't take credit, but it sure it perfect.

    November 18, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. kds562

    Her advisor saids if she "knocks it out of the park " in primary debates, our opinions of her would change. She better grow larger palms and find China and india on the map first.

    November 18, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. R. U. Sano

    As Palin is a complete neocon/zionist puppet, there are and will be... all-too-powerful nefariousforces propelling her toward the nomination. Once in that position, it'll be no laughing matter once the voting machines and the tabulators are brought into play.
    How else did we get the Bu$h train wreckl?

    November 18, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. PalmReader

    The media has made Palin into the star she thinks she is, especially CNN and FOX news ... so, CNN journalists, why keep reporting on what Sarah herself feels she is capable of, why not tell us why each of you allow Palin to continue to pull YOUR strings with this absurd coverage of her day after day? What is so remarkable about Palin that ANYONE should think she is qualified to become president, let alone a major news source? Let's hear the justification ...

    November 18, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. fideauxdon

    Unfortunately, giving this woman publicity is the worst thing that the Media can do. She's two years past her "15 minutes of fame", and she's irrelevant. Unless she has something important to say (She hasn't had anything important to say yet), find something important to report on and ignore her.

    November 18, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. America Shrugged

    Newt, Palin, Trump, ROFL.... Bring it..

    November 18, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Nobody Special

    .....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?...."

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    November 18, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. runner305

    John Coale saying that she could "knock it out of the park" in a debate. Hilarious! Thanks to Palin, a debate with her would be more like a comedy hour than anything else. Bring on the entertainment!

    November 18, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. kcl

    It is so sad that Palin misinterprets her popularity. She can draw a crowd but most are there to see what crazy thing she has to say or do and be witness to that. She has nothing of importance to say, it's all cliches and criticism. Her friends and followers need to see that they are harming her by making her believe she would be able to govern our country. It's all gone to her head and it's abuse. Very sad indeed.

    November 18, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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