October 28th, 2009
03:09 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: 7 in 10 say Palin not qualified to be president

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/28/art.getty.palin.waving.jpg caption="More than seven in 10 Americans think Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president, according to a new national poll."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - More than seven in 10 Americans think Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president, according to a new national poll.

Seventy-one percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning believe the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee is not qualified to be president, with 29 percent saying she does have the credentials to serve in the White House. Republicans appear split, with 52 percent saying she's qualified and 47 percent disagreeing with that view.

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The poll indicates that about half of the country, 51 percent, has an unfavorable view of Palin, with 42 percent seeing her in a positive light. Nearly two-thirds of those questioned say Palin's not a typical politician, and feel she's a good role model for women. Fifty-six percent add that Palin cares about people, and a similar amount think she's honest and trustworthy. But the survey indicates Americans are split over whether Palin shares their values, agrees with them on the issues, or if she's a strong leader.

"Sarah Palin has one advantage that many past Republican candidates have not shared - Americans think she cares about people like them," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But her biggest Achilles heel is the number who think she is not qualified to be President. Those numbers are similar to what Dan Quayle got in 1993, when only 23 percent thought he was ready for the White House."

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In a very early look at the next race for the White House, the survey indicates that nearly one in three Republican voters, 32 percent, say they would be most likely to support former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in a hypothetical battle for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, with Palin seven points back at 25 percent, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 21 percent. Five percent said they would back Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, with one in ten suggesting they would support some one else.

"Huckabee appears to have more support among Republicans than Palin and her unfavorable rating among all Americans is twice as high as Huckabee's," Holland says. "Palin may attract a lot of attention but the GOP may be looking elsewhere for their frontrunner."

It's the pre-season for the next White House contest, as possible GOP contenders form political action committees, campaign for fellow Republicans, write books and address conservative conferences and party dinners. The poll's release comes the same day that Romney, a 2008 Republican presidential candidate, campaigns in Virginia with Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, and less than three weeks before the release of Palin's book, "Going Rogue, an American Life."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 16-18, with 1,038 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for all respondents and plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for questions asked only of Republicans.

Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Barbara B.

    In ordinary life this lackluster promo queen would be given no credence whatsoever. Her creation is media driven, her continued appearance is foolish at best, and her presence is an insult to thinking and talented women everywhere.

    October 28, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Four and The Door

    Here's the problem with these polls: 6 in 10 people said Obama WAS qualified to be president. He's doing his best to prove them wrong. I just wish he would have taken an extra long pause to come up with a better strategy for Wall Street, GM & Chrysler, the "Stimulus" spending bill...

    October 28, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. deanna vandall

    anyone who would vote for this white trash is crazy. i am a proud republican and i want her out of our party.

    October 28, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Sniffit

    We need a new filing clerk at our firm. I bet she could ALMOST manage that. Still, polls are quite stupid. I liken this one to polling Americans to find out if water is wet...I'm pretty sure 3 in 10 would still be stupid enough to say "no."

    October 28, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. S.M.P.

    She cares so much about people that when she was governor of Alaska, rape victims had to pay for their own rape kits. That's caring? She's a liar and a quitter, who only cares about being in the limelight.

    I'm afraid for the future of this country if almost 30% of people polled still believe she would make a good President. She might make a good dog catcher, or perhaps a sewer worker, but President,? I don't think so.

    October 28, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Dave

    Of course Palin isn't qualified, that much is obvious. She'd be an utter disaster as president. And that's the only reason she keeps attracting so much attention. People look at her for the same reason they rubberneck when going by an accident – something so horrifying is also strangely fascinating. But thinking this attention would somehow make her a good candidate is like saying causing an accident would qualify someone as a driving instructor. Some moderate Republicans seem to be figuring that out. But I'm sure there are some that will never get it.

    October 28, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Erasmus

    She is qualified, however, to be a demagogue on Fox TV or have her own AM radio show where the wingnut faithful can get their fix of narrow minded opinions. Anything for money Sarah, your brand of "Americanism" is very clear..

    October 28, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Alex

    If Republican supporters really think Palin stands a chance against Obama, they need a reality check. If they want to have a hope in heck of getting the White House back in 2012, they need to be focusing on Romney or Huckabee, or if they want a female candidate there are plenty of more qualified possibilities that they should be focusing on grooming for 2012. Palin lost her qualifications for president when she abandoned Alaskan voters after only two years.

    October 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. F. Taylor

    I have a question regarding the sample. Of the 1,038 individuals contacted, how many were republicans, how many were democrats and how many were independents? Also, how many were women and what was the racial composition of your sample? Thank you.

    October 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Kim in MN

    Amazing how her numbers are as high as 30 percent. Here is a woman who couldn't comprehend that foreign policy is more than looking out her back window. The very fact that she couldn't discuss foreign policy without sounding like a "valley girl", and now after ONE year she is ready for the oval office? Who are these thirty people out of one hundred or for that matter EVERY hundred who thinks she is capabable of over seeing our nuclear arsinal and military. capable of setting policy on the big picture.

    You do realize that just 7 years ago she was the mayor of a TOWN with the city's population was 5,469 at the 2000 census!!!

    October 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Sam

    To be the president of the US, even amidst all the cisis this country has gone thru, the rest of the world looks up to, one needs a broader view other than 'my way or the high way' that Palin has. She is very charming, I'll give you that, b/c while I can't stand the thought of her being the president, somehow I am always drawn to stories/tickers about her. But me voting for her is entirely different and I can't imagine that day. The good old 'pro' arguments – she is the governor of a state etc, etc...don't fly anymore when she didn't even finish that term. All she has done is to make a quick buck with her 15 minutes of fame and that in itself doesn't qualify her to be the president.

    October 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. unshrub

    I think she represents the ultra conservatism idealogy very well, and I wish her success. Of course, I am also a Democrat.

    October 28, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Allen

    She is an insipid, uninformed, albeit ambitious twit. Alaskans did not think much of her as governer and felt no regret when she quit. It is sad and frightening how low some people's standards for being president can be.

    October 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. william

    With all the liberal media lambasting Sara, it is no wonder that those who have heard of her put her in a negative light. I am a conservative and I do not care what the republicans think. The republicans have left the building a long time ago.

    Is CNN ratings still at the bottom? Maybe Obama has a job for some of you.

    October 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Chris

    Jeez...you mean 30% of this country thinks she's qualified? Pretty sad.

    October 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. Tony

    Ya think!!!!....stupid people.

    October 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. La Chatte

    About those 3 in 10 who think she's qualified... Does anyone with an IQ over 80 believe those folks can walk and chew gum simultaneously?

    October 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. JoJo

    This really does not surprise me, all I can think about when it comes to her and international relations is when she went to I believe to Pakistan and the President there basically said that Palin is a very beautiful woman. As far as the world stage is concerned we would be a laughing stock, we are a very superficial society here in the US. That's not a bad thing but when we constantly elect a President who is not ugly rather than if they are qualified we will always run into issues. Would you think Bill Richardson honestly had a chance to win the Presidency?

    October 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Brandon

    Probably instead of saying she's not qualified, just stop at saying "she's not intelligent enough" because that's the bottom line. She's really not even intelligent enough to hold any position that gives her any influence over other living things.

    October 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Sea.gem

    It's not about her being qualified for president (we alraedy have an unqualified one now)...it is about her exposing the hypocirisy and hatred on the Left which her 'shoot'the-messenger' detractors do on a daily basis...she has helped shift the middle back to the right...

    October 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Dar

    And Odumbo the civic organizer was??????? Opps, I mean the junior senator that was never there was. Come on CNN of course the Dems that you poll are going to say that, they are scared to death of her. Right is after all RIGHT.

    October 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. Dick Seng

    Quote: "CNN Poll: 7 in 10 say Palin not qualified to be president".

    Ha, ha! Palin isn't qualified to be a human. Humans have a brain that works.

    October 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. carol

    Caring? Honest? Trustworthy? No way!

    October 28, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Dick Seng

    Another thing, why waste time reporting on this klutz? What a waste of resources.

    October 28, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Fitz in Texas

    Oh please, Obama proved if he could become President anyone could become President..... and at this point President Obama has proved Palin, among others, certainly could do a BETTER job at being President of the United States than Obama.

    October 28, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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