November 11th, 2010
08:54 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Palin most recognized/polarized of possible '12 GOP contenders

Washington (CNN) - Sarah Palin is by far the most recognized and also the most polarized of the potential 2012 Republican presidential contenders, according to a new national poll.

And an Associated Press-GfK survey conducted following the midterm elections also indicates that at this very early date in the next race for the White House, only a minority of Americans say President Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected.

Forty-six percent of people questioned in the poll, which was released Wednesday, say they have a favorable opinion of the former Alaska governor, with 49 percent saying they have an unfavorable view of the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee. Only five percent say they don't know enough about Palin to form an opinion, a percentage much lower than registered by any other possible White House candidate tested in the survey.

Palin's numbers in the AP-GfK poll are comparable to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey conducted the weekend before the election, which found that four in ten had a favorable opinion of her, with 49 percent holding an unfavorable opinion and 11 percent unsure.

The poll indicates that 49 percent say they have a favorable opinion of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who made a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, with 27 percent seeing him in a negative light and one in four having no opinion.

Forty-six percent say they see former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who also ran in 2008, in a positive light, with 31 percent saying they see him in a negative way and nearly a quarter holding no opinion.

The poll indicates Americans are split on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, at 41 percent, with 18 percent saying they don't know.

The percent of those saying they have no opinion rises much higher for the others questioned in the poll: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (57 percent), Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (58 percent), Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (62 percent), and Sen. John Thune of South Dakota (64 percent).

Palin's numbers rise when the pool is narrowed to Republicans and independent voters who lean towards the GOP, with nearly eight in ten holding a favorable opinion of her and 17 percent saying they see her in an unfavorable way.

But among independent voters only, Palin has a 43 percent favorable rating.

Among all Americans, 54 percent say Obama deserves to be voted out of office, with 39 percent saying the president deserves to be re-elected, and nine percent unsure.

To be fair, polls at this stage in the next cycle are heavily influenced by name recognition and popularity, and this survey was conducted November 3-8, in the days after major Republican victories in the midterm elections.

One-thousand people were questioned by telephone in the AP-GfK poll. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Sarah Palin
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. independent

    Let's all remember that she quit as Governor, she wanted the Road to Nowhere before she was against it, and her husband supported(s) independence for Alaska. These are not loyal, honorable people. They are hyphenated people: short-term, my-way-or-the-highway, and what's- in-it-for-me.

    Take Sarah to the mall and buy her some nice outfits and she'll do as she's told, then complain about it later.

    November 11, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. hippiehunter

    Let CNN's hyperventilating begin! The poll numbers that 3% more of the pollsters say they have an unfavorable opinion of Palin, while a minority of Americans say Obama deserves to be re-elected (you never state the actual %. Must've been pretty low). Which one runs as the headline? Didn't CNN just release an add touting their even-handed coverage? When are you all gonna hire Rod Blagojevich as a political consultant? I hear he needs a jov.

    November 11, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. DJ in TX

    Too much news about Ms. Palin. Please move on to something else. God help us if she was elected President.

    November 11, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Jeff in Virginia

    When are you Tea-Party types going to finally figure out that you've been had by the Republican party?

    November 11, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Regertz

    The pan has flashed and out she goes to become a trivia question for political/history buffs. Good riddance.

    November 11, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. Carol

    Palin is recognized for all the wrong reasons. She has nothing to say and offers no solutions, only ramblings.

    November 11, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Patrick

    What I don't understand is when Palin steals 230 million of other people's money for the bridge to nowhere, then promises 500 million for the a pipeline that isn't guaranteed to help the US at all, she still ends up being the darling of the Tea Party movement. Seriously, for all of her sound bites, she is every bit the "government as usual" politician she claims to despise. If you want smaller, more responsible government, she isn't even close to being your best choice.

    November 11, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Dave

    This is really not newsworthy.

    November 11, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. tony

    I don't this "article" has any substance or information to offer. It seems to be the Media staring into it's own tea leaves.

    November 11, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. blf83

    The more she speaks, the lower the rating. If she only had a brain!

    November 11, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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