[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/11/12/palin.future/art.palin.gi.jpg caption="New polls suggest just under half the American public have an unfavorable opinion of Palin."]
(CNN) - Just a week after this year’s presidential election, 2012 buzz may already be swirling around Sarah Palin – but a new national poll suggests just under half the American public holds a favorable opinion of the Alaska governor, with nearly as many viewing her unfavorably.
Forty-nine percent of those questioned in the survey released Wednesday have a favorable opinion of the woman John McCain picked as his running mate. Forty-three percent view her unfavorably.
And perceptions of Palin seem to be dropping.
"In early September, just after the GOP convention, her favorable rating among registered voters was 57 percent, and only a quarter of all registered voters had an unfavorable view of her," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. Now, Palin is less popular than vice president-elect Joe Biden, with a 64 percent favorable rating, or ticket-mate John McCain, who is seen favorably by 61 percent of the public
The poll also suggests that men may have a slightly more positive view of Palin than women, with 51 percent of males viewing her favorably, compared to 48 percent of female respondents. Forty-one percent of males questioned in the survey have an unfavorable opinion of Palin, as do 44 percent of women.
"With fairly high negatives and lower support among women, who should be a natural constituency for Palin, she's not starting off from a position of strength," says Holland. "The question is no longer whether Palin was a drag on the McCain ticket, but whether her unfavorables could be a drag on a future Palin ticket."
Among Republicans. Palin's rating remains high, with 86 percent of Republicans questioned in the poll holding a favorable opinion of her. That number drops to 48 percent among Independents, and down to 27 percent among Democrats.
Palin is attending the Republican Governors Association conference in Miami, Florida today and tomorrow – the first major gathering of GOP leaders since the party lost the White House, along with additional seats in both the House and the Senate.
There's been speculation that Palin – along with other incumbent governors at the conference like Charlie Crist of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota - could have designs on running down the road for the Republican presidential nomination in the next race for the White House. All three governors were on John McCain's list of possible running mates, before the Arizona senator named Palin as his running mate.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted November 6-9, with 1,246 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The poll comes as Palin sits down for a one-on-one interview today with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, which can be seen on the Situation Room starting at 4 pm ET. Palin is also speaking with CNN's Larry King: that interview can be seen on Larry King Live at 9 pm ET, and again at 9 pm PT.