Poll: Palin making gains but most in GOP don't want her to run
September 21st, 2011
08:42 AM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Palin making gains but most in GOP don't want her to run

(CNN) - While she still hasn't made up her mind on a run for the White House, a new national poll suggests that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is making gains against President Barack Obama in a hypothetical 2012 general election matchup.

According to a McClatchy-Marist survey, the GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee trails Obama 49 to 44 percent in a hypothetical showdown, after trailing by 21 points in an August poll and 26 points in a June survey. The poll indicates that Palin now leads the president among crucial independent voters.

But while the survey, which was released Tuesday, indicates Palin may be closing the gap with the president, it also suggests that most Republicans are not enthusiastic about her launching a bid for the nomination. By a 72 to 24 percent margin, Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP do not want Palin to run for the White House.

As for her plans for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Palin says they’re still up in the air.

"I think people are still going to be coming and going because there is still time, and I'm still one of those still considering," she said Tuesday night in an interview on the Fox News Channel.

But Palin did acknowledge that the calendar will soon force a decision, as some of the early voting states in the primary and caucus season have November deadlines for candidates to appear on the ballot.

"You have to start getting your ducks lined up to have your names on these ballots," said Palin. "But I do think this is going to be such an unconventional election cycle … A lot is going to happen in these next fourteen months. Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional type of election process."

According to the poll, 49 percent say they definitely plan to vote against the president next year, with 36 percent saying they definitely plan to support Obama. By a 53 to 28 percent margin, independents say they plan to vote against the president in November 2012.

The poll indicates that Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads the field in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, with the support of 30 percent of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who's making his second run for the White House, received 22 percent support. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota was at 12 percent, with everyone else in the single digits.

In hypothetical 2012 general election matchups, the survey shows Obama with a two point margin over Romney, 46 to 44 percent, and the president with a nine point advantage, 50 to 41 percent, over Perry.

The McClatchy-Marist poll was conducted September 13-14, after the CNN/Tea Party Republican debate in Tampa, Florida, with 1,042 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN.

Filed under: 2012 • Polls • Sarah Palin
soundoff (392 Responses)
  1. Irrma in North Carolina

    I cannot believe what this country has come to that they would want a person like Palin in the white house who does nothing but spread hate an violence and this goes for all the tea party gang. This country is going down the tubes fast.

    September 21, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Bob

    Palin is not running right now because she does not want to debate the other Republicans. She knows she will come across as an idiot. She will announce after all the debates are over.... Wake up Conservatives... She's not the one.

    September 21, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. Dave J

    This poll shows Palin has the support of half of Amaricans. That's about 150,000,000 people. Good grief! Are Americans that Stupid? If you are that stupid, I hope she gets into the race and wins the Presidency so that America can quickly descend into a third world country and become the laughing stock of the world.

    Palin of President! Palin for President! Palin for President! USA! USA! USA!

    September 21, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Malory Archer

    Everyone claims that President Obama is "losing independent voters". My entire family are independents and not a single one of them would even consider voting for any of the jokes and nutbags fronted by the rethugliban. WIth the exception of my elderly mother receiving Social Security beneifts (that she paid for BTW), I don't know anyone who gets a penny from the government, and they are all of the opinion that President Obama is a much better choice for the middle class – warts and all – than the haters and koch heads on the right.

    September 21, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Lisa S.

    Where did this poll happen? Did those polled have a viable pulse, or I should say, functioning brain?

    September 21, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Gloria

    This person is the most idiotic individual to have ever even thought of becoming a presidential candidate! She has no intelligence, cannot speak coherently, and it appears she has raised her children to be spoiled brats, except for her youngest. (If you can say that she raised them...) I truly worry about my country when voters would even consider this crazy person to be presidential material. Wake up, America!!

    September 21, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Stop the Charade

    Well I have a poll that says that 95% of American voters would vote for a bushel basket of rutabagas before they would vote for Princess Sarah and her way too old publicity stunt.

    September 21, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. lordshipmayhem

    Oh, please, Palin, run. It would guarantee a split in the Tea Party vote and let someone who uses their brains for something other than a curling stone to come up the middle – someone like Huntsman.

    September 21, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    "A lot is going to happen in these next fourteen months. Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional type of election process."

    She'll go in and out of the process, doing whatever she needs to keep her name in the news and the cash flowing in. No concrete ideas or plans; just more anger, fear, division and hate spewing from her and the GOP machine.

    Nothing to move our country forward; all energy put towards tearing us apart.

    Claiming she loves the Constitution, while at the same time denigrating the federal government which is founded on the principles embodied in that document.

    Saying she is "for the people," when she's wholeheartedly against social programs that help the most vulnerable among us.

    Repeating that she's a "mama grizzly," then whining and crying whenever anyone dares to criticize her.

    America, we have a very real choice in the coming 14 months:

    Feed the egos and wallets of the likes of Palin who do nothing but stir up trouble or

    Get behind our President and the Democrats, who've demonstrated over and over they recognize there are no easy fixes, that getting our fiscal house in order will take time, that the sacrifices to be made must be shared by ALL Americans and that working together is the only way forward.

    Obama 2012

    September 21, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  10. Matt

    I hope Fmr. Governor Sarah Palin runs for president. She could and would beat president NO-bama. We need to get rid of this tax-hiking, unemployment increasing, national debt increasing, spending increasing, free government hand out increasing, socialist president. He will be a 1-term failure as president like the pathetic Jim Carter .. just worse.

    September 21, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. steve

    I don't believe that poll, no way she would ever get 40% of America to vote for her. I think she might run, she'll wait till almost the end though to avoid debates and talking to the press, the less she talks the more likely she is to win......

    September 21, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    if the so-called "independent voters" are leaving President Obama to run and support a possible President Palin, these folks would not have voted for Obama or supported him to begin with. No loss really because Palin will NEVER become POTUS but I must admit the though of her getting the GOP nomination is thought provoking. It will just prove the GOP has really gone off the deep end.

    September 21, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. KO

    If Palin thinks that running for the nomination will bring her more money and fame, she'll run–that's basically all that interests her in the long run. If she runs, it just solidifies how intellectually bankrupt the Republican Party really is (although Perry and Backmann are doing a pretty good job of this on their own).

    September 21, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Robert Groves

    Okay, first of all the term "independent" is a complete farce. Anyone who doesn't register with either party is considered an independent, but it's plainly obvious that most of them already lean one way or the other. My father-in-law is about as conservative a man as I've ever known, but officially he's an "independent".

    Secondly, when you're a country where the word "smart" is a pejorative you get what's coming to you. All the teabaggers who want to take us back to the 1890's will be first to cry like babies as soon as they discover that the wealthy are not the least bit interested in solving any of their problems (and for those teabaggers out there, you can find "pejorative" in the dictionary – you know, the big book with lots of fancy words in it).

    September 21, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Tony

    "By a 72 to 24 percent margin, Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP do not want Palin to run for the White House."

    This proves it. Most of the people who want Palin to run are Democrats.

    September 21, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Madtown

    The poll indicates that Palin now leads the president among crucial independent voters.
    Huh? A poll indicating that a non-candidate leads among voters?!? LOL!!!!!!!!! Voters can't possibly vote for someone who's not available to be voted for. Nice poll, very credible! Next from this polling organization, a poll suggesting that the sun will tomorrow rise on the western horizon.

    September 21, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. Founders1791

    Why Governor SARAH PALIN is "The Right Choice" for 2012 and beyond.

    (1) Corruption is America's Biggist Problem

    NO ONE in Washington is telling "the people" the truth. Many of our Leaders have flat out "lied to us" by "not reading or understanding Legislation" they vote on!


    Governor Sarah Palin PROVED her HONESTY multiple times, the biggest being her "unwillingness" to "go along to get along" when she exposed corruption between Big Oil and "fellow" Republicans. MANY WENT TO JAIL because of Sarah Palin

    (2) Governor Sarah Palin SOLVED PROBLEMS for Alaskans

    She lowered the Citizens taxes by REDUCING SPENDING 9.3%, saving over a Billion tax dollars. She INCREASED ROYALITIES from corrupt Big Oil DIRECTLY TO THE CITIZENS who had been serially cheated them out of "their oil resources"

    (3) Governor Sarah Palin ACTUALLY HAD 93% BIPARTISAN SUPPORT

    Despite the "lies and distortions", Governor Sarah Palin ran the office from "the center" and gave both parties their respect in the decisions of the affairs of Alaskans


    She totally supports the right to self protection guaranteed in the 2nd Amendment. She believes in LIFE. She believes in SMALL Government. She believes in Free Market Capitalism.


    September 21, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional type of election process."

    She's actually right for once: TX redistricted to marginalize hispanic voters, the GOP has tried to eviscerate union organization and funding in several key states, the GOP is running around like its hair is on fire engaged in fantasy daydreams about pervasive voter fraud and introducing purposefully restrictive voter ID laws hearkening back to the days when southern states did likewise in response to minorities getting the right to vote, because they know it will have a disparate impact on minority, poor and youth voters they fear will vote for Obama, PA GOPers are considering splitting PA's electoral votes and screwing up the electoral college in an effort to influence the POTUS election towards their candidat, the GOP is actively obstructing every effort to use proven methods of stimulating the economy and creating jobs so that they can blame a bad economy on Obama...etc etc etc. Oh wait...that's not unusual behavior for the GOP. Sorry, yep, she's still wrong about everything.

    September 21, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. MythsGone

    Sarah is in a class by herself when it comes to milking the "will she or won't she" question. At this point into the Republican primary process – her popularity is more about the Republican cast of characters than it is Obama.

    None of it matters anyway. (except to the people she has duped along the way who actually think she is seriously considering running.) She never had any intention of running and when her extended 15 minutes are up – the people who believed her nonsense will have made her a very rich lady. Her goal attained. Sarah's backers move Bristol Palin who will start asking for donations for her 2016 run for Prez. And, the buffoonery continues.

    September 21, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. IVOTE

    Palin's theme song shoul be "MONEY,MONEY,MONEY, MONEYMONEEEEEEEY" to the tunes of that 70's song. She has sold herself to the devil.

    September 21, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Malory Archer

    Founders 1791, perhaps you should follow you own advice and LOOSE YOUR SEXISM and BIAS BASED ON LOOKS and GAIN OBJECTIVITY on HER RECORD.

    September 21, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. vet in texas

    this is funny, because of her in 08' is why McCain lost in the first place. Once the world saw here unable to answer what books she reads............they were finished.

    September 21, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. LacrosseMom(real one)

    Funny isn't it? Considering they ALL voted for McCain/Palin! A recent poll of Republicans showed they are unsatisfied with the clowns they have as candidates!

    September 21, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. Bob in Ohio

    Does anyone see the irony of the dumbing down of America (low SAT scores) and 44% of those polled thinking Ms. Palin would make a good president?

    September 21, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. TXJim

    Sarah.. you are a clown.. join the circus today.. The GOP race will only get better... 2 shrieking harpies.. a robotic stiff guy.. a con artist.. and a bunch of people who don't matter.

    September 21, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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