Palin-Iowa-GOP-3Sarah Palin’s favorability ratings are slipping!  Her favorability ratings are slipping!  That’s what you hear from The Des Moines Register today in their latest release of the Iowa Poll.

Tom Beaumont reports a drop from 71% to 65% in the last 15 months.

Three problems with this poll and story.

  1. The sample size – 189 people.  Not exactly the standard used in scientific polls.
  2. The margin of error of 7.1% +/- since the decline falls within the margin of error.
  3. Josh Painter points out that Beaumont fails to mention the last time this was polled was actually back in June.  Her favorability rating then was 58% with a 4.4% +/- margin of error.  So her favorability has actually increased by 6 points since June.

Why not report that?

The thrust of Beaumont’s article seems to have more to do with a lack of political activity in Iowa:

However, Palin has done very little to cultivate political good will in a state where face-to-face meetings with influential activists, officials and organizers are common. Palin held no private political meetings during any of her four visits. She met briefly with about 50 influential Republican officials and donors during a reception before the fundraiser she headlined in September, but did not discuss mounting an Iowa campaign.

Some Iowa Republicans have said privately they do not expect Palin to run, considering her low profile in the state.

A reason for the dimmed enthusiasm for Palin could be her national exposure combined with her lack of Iowa activity, Geller said.

“She hasn’t been active in the state. And Iowans have that expectation and a feeling of responsibility to see these people up close,” Geller said. “But it might also be a little Sarah Palin fatigue. They are familiar with her and yet they are not necessarily embracing her. Sixty-five percent is not a very high favorable rating.”

But it isn’t a bad favorability rating either.  I agree that if she runs she needs to come to the state, however there are a number of prospective candidates who have not spent much time here…. yet.  I also suspect that her favorability rating will go up if she does start campaigning her because she is extremely good at retail politicking.

As far as the “some Iowa Republicans” who have said privately they don’t expect her to run based on fewer visits to Iowa.  So what?  Frankly I don’t give much credence to people who can’t attach their names to comments made.  It seems like political backbiting from people who support other candidates.  She may not run, but so far we are off to a slow start.  She has made a few visits, but she isn’t camped out here.  There has been some outreach done, but not a ton yet.  You can’t quite compare her activity to Rick Santorum’s or Tim Pawlenty’s for instance because she does have more name recognition, media exposure, and still has a lot of grassroots support.  Her campaign and candidacy will look different, but that doesn’t mean none of the rules apply

I still think she needs to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll and not wait too much longer, but I’m not writing off a candidacy yet.  It’s too early especially since no one has formally announced yet.

Anyway putting forth a narrative that her favorability is in decline based on the problems inherit with the poll and story seems to be to be a bunch of spin.

Photo by Dave Davidson

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  1. I understand that Bush used to call Karl Rove “turd blossom”… the little turd had an article in the New York Mag recently… and I imagined I could really smell him.

    Since Bush was a rancher of sorts and knew at least a little about cattle, I wonder if what he meant was what people in the country call “cow pies”

    Cow pies are large round piles of cow poo…. and when they sit in the sun for a while, the outside hardens up and they look benign, non threatening….
    the only problem is that if you accidentally step on one, just under the thin, hard, dried layer is that same slimy, steamy, stinking cow crap.

    As I said, they really remind me of Karl Rove… he is a cow pie guy…
    Bush just didn’t want to be too obvious about it.

  2. These old lurching zombies in the traditional media sound like voices from the crypt. Sarah Palin doesn’t follow their playbook, or read their list of rules. She doesn’t do it their way. She does it her way. Why don’t they sit back, shut up, and be amazed at the trajectory of a superstar.

    1. Neither Sarah nor her doe-eyed supporters acknowledge any negative news about her – the Palinian battle cry seems to be “ignorance is bliss”.

  3. How could you love GWB (who’s kingmaker was Rove) and say these terrible thing about Carl Rove? Rove MADE Bush. Bush would NEVER have become president without the support of Rove. How can you possibly say negative things about the one man who was responsible for the success of the Bush Presidency. You are not much of a Republican if you criticize the core of the Party.

    1. NO ONE has criticized the core of the Republican party as much as Sarah Palin. It’s ironic that she’d speak at any Reagan function (or mention his name) after THRASHING his 11th commandment of “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican”.

      I have no idea why Bush called Rove “turd blossom” (which is a Texan term for a flower which grows from a pile of cow dung) anymore than I know why he’d called Vladimir Putin (former head of the KGB) “pooty poo” – both sound like names given by a stupid 2nd grader.

      More important is Rove and all his big campaign contributors have abandoned Sarah – they got what they wanted from her and the Tea Parties.

  4. Sarah Palin’s crowds are declining, her second book tanked, and Tawd lost the Iron Dog. Meanwhile, she still wants to claim importance, so it’s off to India for another no press speech. Who cares? She will never be POTUS…the little skeletons in her closet are getting restless, and she knows it. She can only claim “the media just hates me,” so often…truth is coming, and she is terrified of that.

    1. You’ll have to speak in more specific terms, Sally. Last week she drew 1,200 to Cresthollow Country Club on Long Island in a predominantly democratic area–a number second only to Colin Powell and equal that of Bill Clinton when he played the same room.

      At the same time, she is making a tactically brilliant move going to India to participate in a conference with bona-fide Indian political heavyweights and will present herself in a much more flattering way than Obama did several months ago. My guess is that Todd’s loss in the iron dog will quickly be forgotten once the world press digs in to cover her trip to India, a nation very hospitable to female political figures.

      Your suggestions that Palin’s trip to India will be little more than a “press speech” belies a remarkable lack of understanding about its signficance. Palin will gain critical knowledge about the geo politicall realities of southeast Asia. As Pranay Gupta wrote in The Sun “She will speak in March before India’s business, political, diplomatic, academic and media elite at the annual India Today Conclave. The gathering arguably possesses the biggest private-sector megaphone in the world’s largest democracy.”

      Finally, your opinion that her second book tanked doesn’t pass the laugh test. It was second to George Bush’s “Decision Points” on the NYT’s Bestseller list, hardly suggesting the book was a bust.

      1. You missed my “no” in front of press…her India photo op is to be another ‘NO Press” effort, as usual. Until this woman talks to the press without the benefit of prescreened questions, and without the filter of a closed meeting, she is not serious about running.
        As far as Palin gaining “critical knowledge” about Southeast Asia, I hope she does. I hope she leaves her hotel room and walks around Indian cities and begins to grasp something about the world outside Anchorage. I hope she travels to Pakistan and talks to people about the US involvement there and what that has meant. I doubt that she will leave her comfort zone, which is photo ops and little more. What did she learn in Haiti or about Haiti while she was there? She hasn’t mentioned those poor people since.
        And her second book was briefly at #2 behind the Bush memoir, but did not go into a second print run, which means compared to “Going Rogue,” which sold 2 million copies (albeit many to conservative groups to use as freebies,) it did, indeed, tank. Anyway, two million supporters do not a Presidential victory make. do they?

  5. Truthful poll:

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A survey suggests that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s favorability rating has dropped among likely Republican voters in Iowa.

    The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll says the rating has dropped to 65 percent in a poll taken earlier this month, compared with 71 percent in November 2009.

    The former vice presidential candidate has not publicly announced whether she’ll run for president next year.

    The poll of 800 Iowa adults was conducted Feb. 13-16 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The results include responses from 189 Republican likely voters, which have a margin of error of plus or minus 7.1 percentage points.

    Representatives of Palin’s political action committee declined to comment on the new poll.


    Information from: The Des Moines Register,

      1. If the pollsters didn’t ask all 800 the same questions, it makes no sense. Were there only 189 Republicans out of the 800 polled? or some Republicans said they wouldn’t vote?

        I read there are 608K registered Repubs, 710K Dems, and 773K with no party affiliation in Iowa – 29% are Repubs which would be 232 out of 800. I’ve read elsewhere that if possible, Independents (like me) will register as Republicans so they can nominate someone besides Sarah if she runs.

  6. The poll was a total “Cowpie.” Any ressemblance of an actual scientific poll is entirely fictitious, although intended to mislead and persuade!

  7. This poll sounds bogus, but still bad for Palin. How was this poll phrased? Were people asked their opinion of Palin on a scale of 1 to 5? (likely) The REAL question is if people vote for her if she ran for president – the next question is who they’d vote for among 4-5 Republican candidates in a primary. A LOT of people (20-25%) have a favorable (or neutral) opinion of Sarah, but they also say they wouldn’t vote for her if she ran for president – among these, some say they wouldn’t nominate her because she’s not qualified/competent, others say because she’d never win against Obama (and they want a Republican to win).

    None who like her/are neutral say they wouldn’t vote for her because she’s a clueless self-serving ditz, but that’s the opinion of MANY others (Independents, Democrats, and Republicans that she’s classified as mainstream, elite, establishment, blue-blood, or RINOs).

    All this poll says is her favorability has dipped in Iowa as it has everywhere else.

    1. Not quite all:

      WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwire – March 1, 2011) – Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin won the Republican Straw Poll for February reflecting the opinion of hundreds of thousands of conservative voters on and Second place belonged to Ron Paul with 15 percent and third place went to Mitt Romney with 11 percent.

      The left is masterful at cherrypicking data to support their convoluted logic and baseless assumptions. Palin currently is running neck and neck for the nomination, is penciled in for a trip to India which will be the equivalent of attending a masterclass in south asia political policy.

      More importantly, The Iowa and New Hampshire Caucuses are anachronisms, much overvalued at a time when building a cyber-juggernaut is every bit as important in expanding a candidate’s base. expect to see many more affairs like Palin’s trip to Cresthollow where whe spoke for 90 minutes in a Q & A format with the media in attendence. It was a stunning success that was simply too favorable to Palin to get much air time.

      1. I’m sure the “right” can cherry pick data as well…

        Townhall is pretty far right (lots of wingnut “fluff” – I see they give a free “America by Heart” book with a TH mag subscription) and probably gets response from a small percentage of the 55,000,000 registered Republicans – at this point, true fiscal conservatives are looking for solutions instead of stale criticism and threadworn buzzwords/one-liners. And although “hundreds of thousands” is a lot, online polls can be skewed with multiple votes. I average all polls – there really haven’t been many since Tucson (I’ll chalk this one up to Sarah). And India may not do much – everyone already knows Sarah’s “Vision of America” – everyone would be surprised if she gives detailed plans of how to implement her vision – exactly where cuts will be made to fed decrease spending, how states will deal with less fed funding, how to deal with healthcare, education, social security, medicare, etc. – and is she willing to promote less fed funds for Alaska (in 2005 they got $1.84 for every $1 of fed tax paid – the difference came from other states – CA got $0.79 for each $1 paid).

        In the end it doesn’t matter if Sarah wins the nomination, she’d get shellacked in a general election. I hope Daniels runs against Obama so I can vote FOR him, instead of AGAINST Sarah/someone else.

        Got to admit it would be interesting to see someone run a shielded campaign solely from Twitter, Facebook, and Fox.

  8. Where are the poll numbers on Romney and Huckabee losing steam as well? Crickets, nobody gives a crap. The meme is to take down Palin before she even tries to announce because when she does, its katy bar the door, we the people explode. Sarah’s attitude is to serve, not be served. Don’t think she’ll have a motown hoedown in the White House, while Detroit is destroyed, bulldozing whole neighborhoods, closing half the schools, 30% underemployment, Yeah that hope and change is really working there. When Sarah hits Iowa the Hawkeyes will know it. Game, set, Match.

  9. Sarah Palin just won poll for second straight month. This poll had hundreds of thousands of registered participants.

    Interesting fake poll in Iowa, oh well Palin still going take the whole thing in 2012.

  10. She hasn’t been to Iowa much because not many folks there are set to meet her $100,000 / per appearance fee. Don’t be surprised if she skips the upcoming GOP debates scheduled in Iowa, for the same reason.

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