Palin polls poorly with public

PALIN POLLS POORLY WITH PUBLIC…. It’s not exactly stop-the-presses news to find evidence of Americans being unimpressed with former half-term governor Sarah Palin. This new Washington Post-ABC News poll, however, is slightly more interesting than most of the other recent surveys.

Although Palin is a tea party favorite, her potential as a presidential hopeful takes a severe hit in the survey. Fifty-five percent of Americans have unfavorable views of her, while the percentage holding favorable views has dipped to 37, a new low in Post-ABC polling.

There is a growing sense that the former Alaska governor is not qualified to serve as president, with more than seven in 10 Americans now saying she is unqualified, up from 60 percent in a November survey.

How is this different from other recent polls on Palin? For one thing, the data was released the same day as a ridiculous David Broder column, in which the “dean” of the media establishment positioned himself pretty far from mainstream attitudes.

For another, Palin’s public standing appears to be deteriorating as her notoriety grows. In September 2008, when the public was first being introduced to Palin, 58% of Americans had a favorable opinion of her. Now, the number has dropped to 37%. Three months ago, a 60% majority said Palin is not qualified to be president. This month, the number is up to 71%.

Even as the GOP mainstream shifts sharply to the right, a majority of Republicans believe Palin “lacks the qualifications necessary for the White House.”

In July, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski insisted that “real” Americans appreciate Palin. She urged viewers, “Look at the polls out there…. Look what real Americans think.”

Well, looking at the polls out there, and looking at what real Americans think, it seem Palin isn’t exactly cultivating a reputation as a credible figure.

I suppose it’s possible that 71% of the country is effete, condescending elitists, who don’t understand “real” America, but I think it’s more likely that Palin isn’t wearing well on the public.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.