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. sheila60

    oh please enough about this nutjob!

    October 28, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. Mark

    What? Not qualified? That's a shocker.

    October 28, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. ray

    i love it anytime this dumb, dumb,dumb woman gets bad news so does all republicans. the republicans are bad news in the whole for america.

    October 28, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Beau

    It's funny though...she is more qualified to be president than our current president. Where was that point brought up in the pro-left CNN poll?

    October 28, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. etta

    Why do we waist our time – this woman is clearly indecisive. Look at the number of colleges that she attended – my goodness she quit in the middle of her term. She has no fortitude.

    October 28, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Marie MD

    Fifty two percent of republicans think this woman is worthy of the presidency? They wonder why the republican party has lost its way?
    "Sarah Palin has one advantage that many past Republican candidates have not shared – Americans think she cares about people like them," – does this mean the real Americans? What about the rest of us who are also real Americans but don't , thank goodness, follow her like sheep to slaughter?
    I am not surprised that there are people out there who think someone who has quit everything she has ever done in her life is worth talking about. She is only out for the money that mccain planted in front of her by picking her as his running mate. Then again, we do have the attic boy fiasco, joe the plumber, this woman herself and others whose lives people seem to care about for no good reason except that they are useless.

    October 28, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. James

    I agree that she is not qualified, but neither is O'Bama. A 1 term senator with virtually no voting record? Not exactly presidential credentials.

    October 28, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Bluebonnet

    What is the purpose of that poll? To further demean this woman? Shame on you CNN! I don't recall hearing her or anyone else for that matter, claiming that she intended to run for POTUS. BUT, if she did and happened to be elected, I would guarantee that she would be a better POTUS than the empty suit all the liberal, racist naysayers voted into office! Why is the press so eager to shun this woman? What did she ever do to deserve this negative attention?

    October 28, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. Tony

    Who cares? Since when do you need to be qualified to be president of the United States nowadays? Look a Barack Obama.

    Sarah Palin is very qualified for raising millions of dollars, and time and time again it is proven that big bucks equal big victory.

    October 28, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  10. Lana

    Thank God and all other higher powers that 70% of Americans have some good sense. Now, CNN, PLEASE STOP COVERING THIS WOMAN'S EVERY MOVE

    October 28, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. Mickie

    I am stunned that so many people see Palin as honest and trustworthy. I guess they never read the articles and reports and blogs coming out of Alaska. This woman is nothing but a money-grubbing grifter who used her office to enrich herself whenever and wherever possible.

    October 28, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. Ken

    Yeah, she's qualified... TO QUIT!!! I would never vote for anyone who touted her "executive experience" only to quit. She wasn't even in office as Governor for one term. NO, SHE IS NOT QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT. I do agree that she is qualified to serve in someone's administration though.

    I can see her Presidential Election Ads... "Vote for me, but if you say too much stuff against me I'll quit."

    October 28, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. Hypocrisy

    I wonder how many people thought Obama was unqualified in fall of 2005?

    October 28, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. j

    I wouldn't vote for Palin even if she were a progressive. She simply doesn't have enough knowledge to be president.

    Of course I have no intention of ever voting for a conservative. Their ideology tends to be in complete opposition to my views.

    October 28, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. Gary

    Oh please, give me a break! Palin is not worth consideration to run for a county supervisor seat, let alone the presidency!

    October 28, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. digger

    She is more qualified than obama that's for sure.

    October 28, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. Jerry

    It is little wonder that the polls are showing this after the hack job that the media and the Democrats did on Gov. Palin. Not only could they wait to pounce upon her in their fear that she would cause the media's "anointed one" to fail in his bid to the White House, but even well after the campaign was over, the left and its allies continue to attack Gov. Palin. The funny part is that she was and remains more qualified to lead this nation that the person that was elected. Go figure.... Gov Palin just wasn't what the liberal elite wanted in a female leader..... Instead, she was a real anti-corruption advocate who wanted honesty, efficiency within a small government framework.

    October 28, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  18. Rumsfeld

    Sarah simply became too full of herself when she made the leap into believing she should be VP or POTUS. Certainly I would expect and hope that she is trustworthy and honest. However, Alaska's investigations into her past efforts did shine doubt on that as well. She is not qualified to be our president and most people realize this. It is a shame she stepped down as Alaska's governor. That was a mistake on her part.

    October 28, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. Craig


    Barack is not polling much better!!!!!!!

    In about a year when unemployment is in double digits.

    Our dollar is worth nothing.

    Interest rates are through the roof.

    Utility bills are sky high from (cap and trade)

    Industry is in a mass exodus from the highest tax rates in the world.


    October 28, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Jobless Recovery

    At least she understands the fundamentals of the constitution. Barack Obama has no idea what he is doing...combine that with is radical beliefs and we are in trouble! Attack and Spend, that's Barack!

    October 28, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. JOHNSON oklahoma

    palin and joe the plummer the new voice for the republican party this lady just refuses to go away i dont see how she was ever elected to be gov. but stranger things have happen.

    October 28, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. chubs

    she's more qualified than obama

    October 28, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Mark

    Is this suppose to be a surprise? Dear God fellow Republicans, she's not qualified to run Alaska! Local PTA maybe.

    October 28, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. Jim

    I certainly do not disagree with this poll. However, we all have to learn as we go. Palin is doing that. Maybe at a slower pace than some give her credit but, still the same she is moving forward. People who trash her should just hold judgement and we will all see in the long run. The one thing that impresses about Palin is the fact (contrary to some opinion) she did support her daughter. She also had Trig knowing full-well that he had "Downs Syndrone" before berth. That's what an amniocentesis is all about. They do the chromosome study before berth. People who question her moral attributes IMO are misguided.

    October 28, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. Shadysider

    The Republican Party is falling apart because they have become too hard right. Many former staunch Reppublicans left the party because the only thing the Right seemed to espouse was social conservatism which a huge majority of the country is against. And the crazy thing is that the hard-line Conservatives think the party isn't conservative enough. Republicans used to be for the average American, they used to not be all religiously vitriolic, they used to be for the environment, but no more. The Libertarians are being left out to dry (as evidenced by the GOP's failure to allow Ron Paul to the GOP convention), and the Republican Party will dry up as a consequence, leaving the Republican Party with a bunch of close-minded social conservatives, not to mention the huge number of gay Republican politicians who stay in the closet because of the religious right. What a sham the party has become.

    October 28, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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