WaPo Poll: 60% Say Palin Unqualified for Presidency

Sarah Palin better have a back-up plan. A new Washington Post poll shows 60% of Americans say she's unqualified to be President.

[H]er favorability rating remains stuck well below what it was when she first emerged on the national scene at last year's Republican convention....if the goal is the White House, public opinion is now tilted against the idea: asked if they would consider voting for Palin in 2012, 53 percent say they would not.

A CNN poll shows similar numbers. (Added: Same for a new CBS poll.) I don't think she's serious about running for anything. She appears to be into making money -- and sales from her book are her main income right now. I just wish Levi would stop helping her. Today he's threatening a custody battle, which will only keep the family in the news. Sarah is not an Internet buzz.

And more Sarah book fallacies, this time on the timeline of when the McCain campaign knew about her daughter's pregnancy. [More...]

"I was impressed with these guys. They were thorough. For example, they already knew that Bristol was pregnant, a development that I thought only loved ones were privy to at the time."

Yet Palin should have known the campaign was aware of the pregnancy by that point: She told the campaign's vice presidential vetters as much, in writing, far before she was chosen to be John McCain's running mate.

Her appearance on Oprah? Allesandra Stanley of the NY Times says it "mostly showed a politician-celebrity going for broke.

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    Look, I don't like Sarah Palin, I don't think (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by tigercourse on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 08:32:32 PM EST
    she should ever be President, and I'm glad she and McCain went down in flames.

    But... I still find it funny that everyone, EVERYONE thinks she was not qualified to be Vice President because she was only the Mayor of some hick town and Governor of a small (population wise state) when of course Obama (state senator 8 years, full time Senator for 2 years then off to run for President) was abundantly qualified to be President. It's still silly. She even entered politics before he did. Obama (and Bush, and Carter) established that very, very little experience is needed to get elected President.

    Did "everyone" (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 08:57:18 PM EST
    really think Obama was abundantly qualified?  I seem to recall a lot of doubters.  Some, but of course not all, of the doubters were assuaged simply because he ran a campaign in a way that suggested he was ready for prime time.

    Let's not forget that his main (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by suzieg on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:30:54 PM EST
    qualification was his "judgment"!

    I didn't think Bush was (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by brodie on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:08:35 PM EST
    qualified either.  A famous last name, terrible business track record, and one exec job where the heavy lifting was actually done by the Lt Gov.   Carter?  State lege (and Lt Gov ?) plus Gov of a mid-sized state where the Gov actually had to work.  Then all his stellar military background starting with Annapolis, which has always looked good on a presidential resume in our system.

    Palin:  it's wasn't just that she barely had any meaningful time as a statewide exec of a tiny state, but the primary negative factor as I saw it was her lack of any deep familiarity with the major issues.  She could recite the Repub talking points, but her lack of depth was painfully obvious.  Then the Couric interview sealed the deal that she was the type who wanted to get by just on surface appeal and personality, without hitting the books.  A female Dan Quayle with merely fewer goofy verbal gaffes.


    Everyone certainly did not (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Radiowalla on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 11:20:23 PM EST
    attribute her lack of qualifications to her limited time in public office.

    It wasn't her short tenure in office.  It was her utter lack of interest in public affairs, her lack of demonstrated involvement in the main issues of the day, her meager educational background, her disinterest in travel and history.  She was and is a celebrity lightweight who is making a lot of money out of polemics and personality.

    But, hey, this is America and she's entitled to all she can grab.


    You make some good points (4.50 / 6) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 08:47:22 PM EST
    but executive experience is far better than as a Senator so Palin, Bush and Carter all trumped Obama in that respect and we are seeing it in his inability to make timely decisions and to set an agenda.

    As for the poll, I would like to see the internals and how they were weighted, etc. Another important point would be if the poll is of likely voters as opposed to just popularity.


    Timely decisions? (2.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Politalkix on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:51:39 PM EST
    The Presidency is a marathon, not a sprint. The key is pacing it correctly.

    The CBS poll has (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:13:49 PM EST
    the numbers and who was polled.

    This poll was conducted among a random sample of 873 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone November 13-15, 2009. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

    The CBS polls says 62% say she would not be an effective president, and

    Among white evangelicals, half think Palin would be an effective president and 46% of conservatives agree.

    61% of Republicans polled (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 07:12:22 AM EST
    say they believe she is qualified. Keeping in mind, of course, Bush was their guy, as well.

    But, it does shine some light on the value of polls. It is the Republicans who will choose their candidate.


    What don't I get about 'Palin Panic' Syndrome? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Ellie on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:34:59 PM EST
    Were it not for Libs & Dems taking massive, predictable bites at the low-hanging fruit of Palin's soap-operatic extended family, by now she'd be the answer to a political version of Trivial Pursuit.

    Yeah, she gets her dumbass on like the rest of her RW sistren and brethren but to my mind, she's already been abundantly discredited.

    This ongoing stuff is imbuing not her, but the nut-wing of the Repugs with new juice that they shouldn't have. It's like strapping the Palin carcass to the front of a big-@ssed Hummer and roaring through Wingnuttia.

    What a Scary Poll... (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by pluege on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:43:37 PM EST
    that 40% of American would think palin is qualified to be POTUS.

    Don't be frightened (none / 0) (#39)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 09:23:24 AM EST
    Sarah Palin better have a back-up plan. A new Washington Post poll shows 60% of Americans say she's unqualified to be President.

    The poll really showed nothing more than 60% of the 837 people who were asked some unknown questions about SP's qualifications thought she was probably unqualified. 60% of Americans, on the other hand, rarely agree on any political topic.


    When I see or hear Sarah Palin, I have to (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 10:54:37 PM EST
    stop and remind myself I'm not watching some trite Hollywood movie that is less engaging than Legally Blonde: Red, White and Blue.

    She seems to me to be the end result of several election cycles where we elected people for reasons that had little to do with their perceived abilities to lead the country, and more with their "Q" scores and ability to raise boatloads of money.

    Sarah Palin is what you get when you think electing George Bush makes sense, or that a not-even-one-full-term-Senator has the bona fides to be the leader of the free world.

    Keep lowering the bar, and one day soon, there will be someone even less qualified than Palin who woos the media and takes center stage.

    Election Cycle History (none / 0) (#24)
    by Politalkix on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 11:39:38 PM EST
    If experience was all that mattered, JFK would never have defeated Nixon, Carter would never have defeated Ford and Clinton would never have defeated GHW Bush! Maybe wooing the media always took centerstage, maybe saxophones and boxers and briefs were always what interested people. Or more likely, people always looked for the right combination of charisma and substance and found it in JFK, Clinton and Obama!

    Missing the point (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by FreakyBeaky on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 11:38:02 PM EST
    The point is the similarly christo-fundy radical, moderate-seeming, acceptably male, and thus far, far more dangerous Mike Huckabee, whom no one is talking about.

    Checking poll archives (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 03:38:19 AM EST
    More people were opposed to Hillary Clinton's potential presidential run than are opposed to Sarah Palin's.  Go to pollingreport.com, search on Hillary Clinton and scroll till you find the many, many polls tauting opposition to her candidacy.  67-69% opposition was pretty typical.

    I wish the opposition to Palin stemmed from her less than brilliance.  However, I know that people don't make a big deal about male candidates smarts or qualifications -- or if they do, they elect them anyway.  And Clinton is a smart woman, however opposition to her candidacy in the early days surpassed that of Palin. I can see no correlation between intelligence and favorability of candidacy.

    Once Palin becomes Trivial Pursuit material, I don't know who the next most hated polarizing figure will be....but I bet it'll be a woman....

    How anti-HRC panic differs from Palin panic (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Ellie on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 10:48:58 AM EST
    I thought that the unprecedented, massive call from the media that she take herself out of the race -- gleefully fomented by the Obama campaign -- was egregiously sexist. It directly correlated to Senator Clinton's eminent qualifications to lead, govern, and beat back the Repugs (and win!) as she'd proven throughout her career.

    The routine use of her surname to bash Bill Clinton and his 2x-admins' policies was cheap beyond insult; she was FLOTUS at the time, and not elected to hold office nor appointed to a position.

    Palin doesn't come close to (SoS) Clinton, so the Palin Panic seems hugely disproportionate to her actual power in the political arena. While a lot of the criticism levelled at her might be sexist, the persistent Lib & Dem hair-pulling that she's still out there is mystifying.

    Would that they went after, oh I dunno, actually elected enemies to Lib & Dem agendas with the same gusto. Now that would be news.


    And I'll add that (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 07:07:51 AM EST
    there are many reasons to oppose a candidacy...I  opposed Hillary at this point in the game too, simply because I was afraid it would play out the way it did (or worse) and I didn't think she or I could take it.  

    Polls this far out are meaningless. People can play the 'oh look, people don't like Sarah' game if it makes them happy, but it is not worth worrying about.


    I don't think it is ... (none / 0) (#42)
    by nyrias on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 10:50:22 AM EST
    about Palin's true intelligence.

    It is really about she was made to look like an idiot on national tv (and Tine Fey cemented that in no small part). Now Palin may very well be an idiot, but it is the image that matters.

    And I don't think even Quayle was made to look as big of an idiot as Palin on TV.


    Mean Girl (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by WS on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 07:37:51 AM EST
    Did you see Palin's interview on Oprah and heard excerpts of her book?  I can't believe she'd pick on Katie Couric and gave her an interview because she "felt sorry for her."  What's that supposed to mean?  Then she goes on Oprah and complains that Couric's interview wasn't the softball interview like she thought.  Um Sarah, a question like "What do you read" is not a hardball question.  

    No, did you (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 09:09:46 AM EST
    see Palin's interview and read the excerpts?  Palin didn't pick Couric, according to her, the McCain campaign people did (Nicolle Wallace specifically), citing those reasons.  Wallace, of course, denies she ever said such a thing.

    I don't think much of Palin, either, but Couric's whole demeanor from the get-go in that interview was  incredibly hostile and patronizing.  That "What do you read?" question was so obnoxious, Palin says she got her back up and refused to treat it seriously.  That was, FWIW, my impression at the time.


    My opinion of Katie Couric's (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 09:14:07 AM EST
    ability to conduct a worthwhile interview would probably make Sarah Palin's words seem nice. But, there are an abundance of people who will find fault in absolutely everything SP, and all members of her family, says and does.

    Only 60% (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by lawstudent on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 08:22:31 AM EST
    The saddest part about this article is that there are actually 40% who believe she is qualified.

    Two words: (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 08:36:46 AM EST
    Who cares?

    Wish the pollsters would be obligated to (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 09:17:50 AM EST
    post all information on the polls they conduct. Location, income level, D, R, or I, gender, age, registered voter, voted, etc. But, mostly, questions asked.

    Everyone has a different opinion on what qualifies a person for the presidency of this country. Tens of millions of people did not vote for Obama because they felt he was not qualified by their standards for a POTUS. Yet, there he is in the Oval office.

    The funny part of the (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by robert72 on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 09:23:07 AM EST
    Palin-is-a-stupid-wingnut storyline is that a good case could be made that she was a fine DEMOCRATIC governor. The stories say that she beat a Republican and cleaned out Republican corruption, she threw out anti-gay legislation, put a pro-choice woman on the supreme court, got the oil companies to pony up some of their profits to the people of Alaska, and actually did a competent job of governor. When McCain chose her she was at about 80% approval in the state. What more could a good Dem do?

    Wait I have to fact check (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 03:46:40 PM EST
    put a pro-choice woman on the supreme court: No other options

    The stories say that she beat a Republican and cleaned out Republican corruption: Is the exact same thing that would have happened if McCain was elected president- replacing a the same party or winning a primary does not = the other party.

    got the oil companies to pony up some of their profits to the people of Alaska: Please tell me your not referring to the permanent fund- that's been around for decades.

    I'd have to see citation about the anti-gay thing.


    Strange... (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by Lena on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 09:42:17 AM EST
    this is one area where American can come together -- Conservative sexists, liberal sexists, and your average liberal (like me) can't stand her, all of us for different reasons. But in one area most of the above seem to agree: they loves to bash her.

    As an average liberal, I hate the bashing more than I hate her. Why? Because after Hillary Clinton's run, I no longer trust the liberals on my side who detest her. Are they reasonable people, or is their hatred of her a thin veneer for their hatred of powerful women? I used to think that liberals weren't sexist, and then I read Kos during the last election cycle. That illusion dissipated fast. It's sad.

    I don't "get" why Palin (none / 0) (#43)
    by Fabian on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 10:55:32 AM EST
    is such a lightning rod.

    Her story is unique and intriguing, but the part that I am interested in is why McCain picked her.  Was it merely for the media novelty?  Was it because he really did think Palin had something to offer?


    Sarah Palin (none / 0) (#5)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:02:26 PM EST
    has the same sort of political charisma quality as Bill Clinton has, where if you like him/her you simply don't mind that they're BSing you a lot of the time.

    If you don't like the politician in question, then this simply doesn't process.  It's like "she says in her book that she wanted to go on SNL, but the leaked emails from her campaign prove that she didn't, so why don't people realize she's a total liar and a fake?!?"  Well it just doesn't work that way.

    In any event, it seems clear to me that if she really expected to run for President someday, she wouldn't have resigned the way she did.  She obviously has a different goal, and hey, more power to her I say.

    The President likes to say that his life is a story that could only happen in America.  So too with Sarah Palin, I think!

    I disagree that she has the same or similar (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Angel on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 10:26:14 PM EST
    political charisma as Bill Clinton.  And I don't think most people thought Bill Clinton was bs-ing all the time.  I think people thought he was intelligent and thoughtful even though they knew he was a politician and sometimes prone to say what he thought others wanted to hear.  Sarah Palin is nothing like this.  She is not intelligent and doesn't come across as intelligent.  She is polarizing in a different way than Bill Clinton ever was.  The far right hated him because he was/is smarter than them, better looking, charismatic, sexy, and way more cool.  The same thing can't be said about Sarah Palin.  She's in way over her head.

    Well (none / 0) (#19)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 10:35:43 PM EST
    I certainly did not mean that if you like one of them you must like the other one.  I think Bill Clinton appeals to the liberal id much like Sarah Palin appeals to the conservative id.  But the liberal id and the conservative id are not simply mirror images of one another.

    I understand what you said. I'm just saying that (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Angel on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 10:40:42 PM EST
    the use of "charisma" when comparing her to him is not reasonable.  She doesn't have the charisma that Bill Clinton did, not by a long shot.  She's more of a curiosity and unusual, that accounts for a large part of her popularity.  She has the "aw shucks" gimmick down and that greatly differs from the "I feel your pain" gimmick!  lol  

    The second part of your sentence ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by prittfumes on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 06:37:21 AM EST
    "[she] doesn't come across as intelligent", okay if that's your opinion. As for the first part: "She is not intelligent...", do you (or the numerous others who eppear to believe that she is a near idiot) have any proof that she is definitely not intelligent?
    (emphasis added)

    My proof (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 03:53:01 PM EST
    would be the lack of any writing and/or public speech that revealed anything resembling a developed intellect.

    Yes, it's my opinion. And that opinion is based (none / 0) (#30)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 07:30:11 AM EST
    on what she's said when she opens her mouth.  It's all I have to go on so I'll stick with my comment.  

    I also think she's ignorant in that she chooses to ignore information and facts and does so subjectively.  I never said she was a near idiot so don't put words in my mouth.


    I would never suggest (none / 0) (#32)
    by prittfumes on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 08:03:53 AM EST
    that you are not entitled to your opinion. Also please note that I said "appear to believe". In my opinion, that is  not an attempt to put words in your mouth.

    A tendency toward "[subjectively] ignoring information and facts" is not that unusual these days.

    Bottom line: We're all entitled to our opinions. If you believe SP is not intelligent, fine. You do not, however, appear to have any proof that she is not intelligent.


    I think Clinton was/is (none / 0) (#50)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 03:51:35 PM EST
    much smarter and more competent- but, lets face it we all knew the guy wasn't a paragon of integrity (let me clarify- personal integrity- I don't think he was corrupt with the exception of the Rich thing) and Palin does have a base charisma (actually I think the best Clinton analouge other than Obama, is probably Huckabee- he's the guy I fear the most by far among the GOP hopefuls).

    Huckabee polls the strongest (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 04:17:26 PM EST
    against Obama than does (in descending order of strength) Romney,  Pawlenty or Palin.

    Huckabee is just a few points behind Obama. He figured out long ago how a right winger gets elected--by sounding moderate.  Palin has no such subtlety....


    WTF! (none / 0) (#7)
    by ChiTownDenny on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:08:39 PM EST
    Did you just compare Bill Clinton to Sarah Palin?  Now I've seen everythig.  Unbelievable!

    Yes I did (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:17:31 PM EST
    I think the limited scope of my comparison speaks for itself, but your outrage is definitely noted.  Also, I hope this doesn't upset any Egyptologists, but Sarah Palin and Ramses II were exactly the same height.

    I'm glad you noted my OUTRAGE. Point made. (none / 0) (#10)
    by ChiTownDenny on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:23:33 PM EST
    And for the record, having just returned from Egypt, I can tell you definitively that Ramses II was an inch shorter than Sarah.  
    With respect, comparing Sarah Palin to Reagan, or even Obama, would be more in step with the record.

    Well sure (none / 0) (#11)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:28:38 PM EST
    Sarah Palin has a lot of things in common with Ronald Reagan.  One of them is that a lot of liberals hoped for each of them to get the Republican nomination, because they were clearly too far right to be elected President!

    Nice to see that the Clinton (none / 0) (#52)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 03:54:12 PM EST
    comparison offends but an Obama comparison is all good- I guess when its your sacred calf being gored it hurts a bit more huh?

    i really like Obama (none / 0) (#17)
    by The Last Whimzy on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 10:13:40 PM EST
    So I don't care that he's BSing me either.

    Why is this question being asked? (none / 0) (#16)
    by abdiel on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 10:00:42 PM EST
    She had her shot and lost the election.  Obviously fewer than 50% think she should be president.  It's like making a poll if people think Obama is qualified to be president.  A year later, you'd hope that at least the same 53% that voted for him would still say yes.  

    She shouldn't be running for anything.  Hopefully she's found, like Al Gore, that being a spokesman for the party is a much easier job than running it.  She should be much happier being a populist conservative hero.

    Al Gore is what? (5.00 / 7) (#26)
    by Fabian on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 05:35:00 AM EST
    I wish Al Gore was the spokesperson for the Democratic Party.  If I had to pick someone who is most representative of the Democratic Party right now, it would be Reid or Obama, both of them squishy centrists.

    BTW - why do people say "Oh, things are better than they were under Bush!" ?  If they set the bar much lower, it would be a crack in the sidewalk.  What next - "Better than Hoover!" ?


    So have Obama's (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 12:23:53 PM EST
    so what?

    Well actually (none / 0) (#45)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 01:43:15 PM EST
    Obama's favorable/unfavorable numbers 14 months ago were 58/36.  Today they stand at 61/38.  So I don't think it's accurate to say Obama's favorables have gone down in the last 14 months.

    Not so fast (none / 0) (#47)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 02:18:34 PM EST
    And depending on what poll you look at.

    RCP says his numbers are 56/39

    And 14 months ago, some polls had him at 60/33 or 61/36 or 62/35

    And at this same time (since we are now comparing Reagan), GWB's approval was at 87%, thanks in large part to 9/11.  

    Which brings me back to my original point - so what?  These numbers mean nothing.


    Well (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 02:35:42 PM EST
    at most his favorables have dropped 5 points, so I agree, that's a big "so what?"  But I think Sarah Palin's drop from 40% after her convention speech to 23% currently is a lot more significant.

    In fact, I honestly don't understand the logic of saying "Obama's numbers have dropped a couple of points, so who cares if Sarah Palin's favorables have been cut almost in half?"  Your point seems like a real stretch to me.


    Again, so what? (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:53:49 AM EST
    He's the president, and according to some polls - he's dropped 10-12 points. That's pretty significant.  She's on a book tour, possibly gearing up for another run at the nomination which she will not win. Her favorable/unfavorable could be zero and it doesn't matter - HIS numbers do matter.

    I guess we could always look at the favorable/unfavorables of Ann Coulter too.


    CNN Poll- Hillary nt BIdenmore qualified for POTUS (none / 0) (#54)
    by jedimom on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 07:43:03 AM EST
    the CNN poll also shows Hillary is considered more qualified to be POTUS than Biden:
       CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday: two-thirds of the public thinks that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's qualified for the Oval Office. That's more than Vice President Joe Biden, who's currently next in line for the presidency.

        ..The CNN survey indicates that 67 percent of people questioned say that Clinton is qualified to serve in the Oval Office, 17 points higher than the 50 percent of Americans who think that Biden's qualified to take over as president.

        ...The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted November 13-15, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall sample.

    No surprise here. I just wish they'd do a poll (none / 0) (#55)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 08:31:41 AM EST
    asking if Hillary is STILL more qualified that Obama to be president.  Yes, I'm still upset about what went down in the primaries.