Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Birthers (heart) Palin

Well, obviously. But Greg Sargent has the numbers:

The new poll from the Dem firm Public Policy Polling finds that a majority of likely GOP primary voters falsely believe Obama wasn't born in the United States. But this breakdown of their attitudes towards Sarah Palin is of particular interest:

A 51% majority of national GOP primary voters erroneously think President Obama was not born in the U.S. 28% know that he was. With the latter, Palin's favorability rating is 41-52 -- other than Ron Paul, the only candidate these voters view negatively. But with birthers, she has a soaring 83-12, far higher than for any of the others.

Birthers like Palin more than all the other 2012 GOP hopefuls to an overwhelming degree. And she is the only 2012 hopeful aside from Ron Paul who is viewed negatively by Republicans who know the President was born in America. I'd say this tells us a lot about the secret to Palin's appeal and about who she appeals to.

In other words, if you're a Republican, the crazier you are, the more you like Palin. But we knew that already, right?

Otherwise, things aren't looking good for the less-than-one-term governor:

Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin report[ed yesterday] that polls show Palin trailing significantly among GOP primary voters in early-voting states, folks who tend to take their role in picking a presidential nominee rather seriously. As Smith and Martin speculate, this suggests that Palin's general popularity among GOP primary voters -- which remains very high -- is rooted less in a desire to see her elected to a position of awesome responsibility and more in her ability to give voice to their contempt for Democrats.

Yes, that may well be right. She has her ardent followers, of course, and I'm sure many Birthers, Teabaggers, and others on the far right would support her were she to enter the race, but it does seem that more sensible Republicans either don't like her or would prefer she remained on the sidelines, where she can snipe away at her leisure at her (and their) hated opponents. Maybe even those who like her get that she's not presidential material and would be an embarrassment, not only to herself but to them and their party, were she actually to win the nomination, and would even be an embarrassment in the primaries.

Who knows what she's thinking, but I repeat what I've said again and again, namely, that she's not going to run. She simply has too much to lose -- and she'd likely lose a lot. Sure, she's surrounded by sycophants, and she may well be delusional enough, with their added persuasion, to think that she could actually win, but surely someone will tell her that she's have a tough time even winning hardcore Republican primary voters (unless, of course, the field is so weak, with the likes of Romney and Pawlenty, that they'd vote for her by default and in spite of their concerns). Or maybe not. Who knows what goes on inside the Palin bubble?

It's not like an appreciation for reality is one of her strengths.

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