If the soon-to-be ex-governor of Alaska wants to throw her waders in the ring for a presidential run, she would be starting with a decent base of support.
The latest USA Today/Gallup poll â€“ taken three days after Sarah Palin announced she was quitting the governorship 18 months early â€“ shows 19 percent of US voters â€śvery likelyâ€ť to vote for her for president and another 24 percent â€śsomewhat likely.â€ť
In 2005, when Gallup asked voters to assess then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clintonâ€™s chances for president, 28 percent were â€śvery likelyâ€ť to vote for her, and 24 percent â€śsomewhat likely.â€ť
Governor Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president last November, has left her supporters guessing as to whether sheâ€™ll actually run. But if she does, she would have her work cut out for her. A total of 41 percent of voters say they are â€śnot at all likelyâ€ť to support her, and 13 percent are â€śnot too likely.â€ť
Most voters â€“ 70 percent â€“ said her resignation announcement last Friday had no effect on how they feel about her. Nine percent view her more favorably, and 17 percent less favorably.
Palin remains as polarizing as ever. Most Republicans (72 percent) say they would be likely to vote for her, and most Democrats (70 percent) say they would not. But with independents, a critical battleground for votes, the news is not good for Palin: In all, 53 percent are either â€śnot too likelyâ€ť or â€śnot at all likelyâ€ť to support her, while 44 percent are either â€śvery likelyâ€ť or â€śsomewhat likely.â€ť
If nothing else, the latest twist in the Palin saga â€“ and her enduring popularity â€“ will give added life to media fascination with her. Over the weekend, reporters from major news outlets hightailed it to Alaska, where Palin, dressed in waders, obliged with interviews.