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. Republicans are the American Taliban

    About the same favorable ranking that Leona Helmsley had....on the likability scale right in between two words that both end with ..itch.

    October 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    My faith in America is restored!

    I knew the bulk of us saw Saint Sarah of the Silly as just that.

    We can see that she is nothing more than a lying opportunist looking for financial gain. Not that that is bad, but we realize this moron is all about publicity and quitting to make a quick buck.

    But what is more frightening, is that the republican party. They have subsequently stated the Twitter twit was not ready or capable and still pushed her as being capable to possibly hold the highest office in the country.

    Just how is that putting "country first"?


    October 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Jim Hall

    I wish the media would forget all about this village idiot. Get on with something worth the time reporting. She is no different than that idiot in California that has the 14 kids. They both are just attention seekers. Sick in the mind. Jim Hall Kansas City

    October 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Nick

    You call this news? If CNN had polled real Americans early on they would have found this out months ago. Stop polling the wing-nuts on either side and your polls may mean something.

    October 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. Melissa

    I'm surprised its only 7 in 10. The woman is a moron.

    October 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. Larry - Hazleton, pa

    Are people who believe that palin cares about them from a different planet or do they remember that she quit her job to help the peolple of alaska half way through her term in order to make money!!!!!!! where oh where is the care in that. this lady only thinks of herself............

    October 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Marion

    I think the real surprise is that 29% think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president. This is the same woman who went from being a small-town mayor in a rural state to being the governor of that state, then quit before the end of her first term without giving any sort of logical explanation.

    And let's not forget that she couldn't name a single newspaper she read regularly or a single Supreme Court decision besides Roe vs. Wade that she disagreed with.

    And these same people accuse Barack Obama of being unqualified? Wow, just wow.

    October 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Rob

    But hey, she's gotta lose another 2 people before she's on an even percentage rating with Obumbles approval rating now. Seeing as how Obumbles hasn't done anything in the last 9 months, I think it's unfair to him to try and compare what Palin would be like. I mean it would be a blowout for Palin even if Obumbles did do something, now it just wouldn't be fair. Maybe the most fair way for Obumbles is to compare their golf game, seeing as he's apparently more concerned about that than the economy, Afghanistan, unemployment,...... basically everything that could help America.

    October 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. some guy in New Hampshire

    I hope people are finally figuring out that just because someone drives your political foes crazy doesn't qualify them to negotiate successfully with foreign governments, craft a forward-looking energy policy, or manage the economy. Jabbering about "freedom" and "values" is something anyone can do. Words are not skills, slogans are not proof of intellect.

    October 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Aunt Bea and Opie

    The scariest thing is that 29% of those polled think this moron could lead the country.Guess all the decisions are made by others in the shadows anyway,like ExxonMobil,who own her anyway.Now shes the biggest Corporate Fascist mouthpiece out there.

    October 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Steve Salisbury

    My only surprise is that it isn't "9 out of 10". This woman is a joke to politics.

    Obama till 2016!

    October 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Mark

    OH...and a CNN Opinion Poll carries any clout? Look at CNN's ratings...IN THE TANK! Americans know a biased so-called news organization when they see, smell and hear one. CNN's new banner slogan should be: "CNN The World's Most Biased Name in News...You Can Trust That To Be True!"

    October 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. Kevin

    Like the song Don Schlitz wrote:

    You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
    Know when to walk away and know when to run.

    Sarah knows when to stand her ground and when to retreat and knows that it isn't in the cards she has been dealt but how to play them.

    Makes her one extraordinary woman.

    BTW, this poll:
    The 1,038 adult Americans questioned by telephone.

    Where they likely voters? How many Democrats vs Republicans vs Independents? Without the information how this poll was conducted being published your poll has no meaning. For all the reader know you polled teenagers.

    October 28, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. BN

    Recognizing that former Governor Palin has not even indicated whether she will stand for her party's nomination in the 2012 primary, this poll is informative. I can't speak for those polled, but to me the problem with former Governor Palin isn't that she clearly is unqualified for the presidency; it is that she apparently is (as was another former Governor named Bush) unaware that she isn't qualified. That lack of self-awareness and the profound misjudgment about the qualifications necessary to manage a presidential administration is enough to disqualify her, as it should have disqualified him.

    October 28, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    Go Sarah! The more the Democrats tear you apart, the more they are still afraid of you..........she's a breath of fresh air, she has common sense, something our great campaigner in chief is lacking.

    October 28, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. bill

    you betcha

    October 28, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. kathy

    She's like and infection that wont go away. No matter what you do
    it keeps coming back!!

    October 28, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Steve from Oregon

    My only surprise is that it isn't "9 out of 10". This woman is a joke to politics.

    Obama till 2016!

    October 28, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Tom P

    The shocking statistic here is that there are actually 3 out of every 10 people who think she IS qualified!

    October 28, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. lovable liberal

    What's the media going to do without covering her every move? Actual stories that matter? Don't count on it...

    October 28, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Ron Abfalter

    Please PLEASE !!!!! Enough is enough. NO MORE SARAH STORIES.

    October 28, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    The central question people need to be a asking about a prospective candidate is not whether they like the person, but if they can lead and inspire. Palin may be a great person to hang around with, but if a majority of people question her ability to lead or to provide what could be descibed as a " Palin Doctrine" to lead our country through difficult times, then she is not a credible candidate. The perception of Palin is someone who is personally likeable, but has also marginalised herself by stating which Americans she prefers to be with.

    I grew up in a town the size of Wasilla, AK, and I can tell you that its huge leap from Wasilla to a state house that governs a population half that of the metro Buffalo area. Its an even bigger step to the White House. Good intentions are not enough, and she lacks the intellect and ability to pull people around her.

    October 28, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Jayden,FL

    Like if we didn't already know this.. we dont need a poll to tell us!

    October 28, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Retired-Vet

    Not Qualified, maybe but look what we have now, a community organizing socialist. I would vote for Sarah long before voting for the one.

    October 28, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Trevor

    Does anyone remember the Katie Couric interview? This woman is as bad as bush, if not worse and certainly not qualified to run a cash register say nothing about the country. Lets not forget her ethics violation . Please people, I beg you, think before you vote.

    October 28, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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