Is Alaska Governor Sarah Palin really the frontrunner choice of the GOP to run for the presidency in 2012? According to a new poll she is. But not by much.
A CNN/Reseach Opinion Poll conducted just before Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave his Republican Response to President Barack Obama’s Address to Congress reflected the current state of the GOP with regard to who Republicans consider to be their best hope for the presidency in 2012, and it did not look good for Bobby Jindal. Given the less than enthusiastic reviews Jindal received for his remarks, it may be just as well that the poll was not taken after his speech. According to the poll, only 9% of Republicans think he is the person to lead the GOP to victory in 2012.
The person Republicans think most able to retake the White House? Sarah Palin. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin polled 29% of the Republicans surveyed. She scored highest among women voters. Even Ed Rollins, CNN contributor and Republican political strategist for Mike Huckabee’s bid for the 2008 presidency, said just after Jindal’s speech, “It was a good night for Sarah Palin.”
Former Arkansas Governor and now Fox News talk show host Mike Huckabee polled the second highest with 26%. Huckabee scored highest among male voters.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney came in third, polling 21%.
The mysterious Someone Else received 10% of the vote, which leaves 5% unaccounted for, and Governor Bobby Jindal firmly in 5th place. But it was before that horrid speech Tuesday evening, it must be remembered.
So why Sarah Palin? Simply because Sarah Palin struck a chord with the Republican base during her vice presidential bid in 2008. Republicans like her. The further to the right, the more conservative the Republican, the more likely they are to support Sarah Palin.
But the more moderate Republicans are more likely to support candidates like Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. Conservative Democrats, commonly referred to as Reagan Democrats if they have supported Republican candidates in the past are also more likely to support Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney, because Sarah Palin is considered more extreme in her political views.
But it is early and the political landscape is bound to change in the coming year or so before candidates seriously begin vying for the presidential nomination. There will undoubtedly be a few senators who become involved, not to mention a pack of governors – like Rick Perry of Texas, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota — that have been touted by the media as possible candidates. And one must not forget another former governor who will no doubt run for the presidency, Jeb Bush of Florida.
It might be early but it already looks like it is going to get interesting.
As for Governor Bobby Jindal? He has plenty of time to lick his figurative wounds and get back into it. Just as long as he doesn’t have to follow another Barack Obama speech, he should do fine.
“Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN Television