Sarah Palin Already Losing the 2012 GOP Primary

Along with the superb numbers for Obama (a 53 to 40 lead) in the latest Newsweek poll, we find more bad news for John McCain's VP nominee:

Sarah Palin continues to be a major drag on the McCain ticket. For the first time since McCain picked Palin as his running mate, more voters, 46 percent, have an unfavorable opinion of the Alaska governor, than have a favorable opinion, 44 percent. Nearly a third of voters, 31 percent, say that McCain's choice of Palin makes them less likely to vote for him, while 19 percent say the Palin pick makes them more likely to choose McCain (49 percent say it makes no difference). Perhaps most concerning for the McCain campaign is that 34 percent of independents say the Palin pick makes them less likely to support McCain, compared to 45 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of Republicans.

Of course, that's nearly conventional wisdom by now - Palin is making McCain bleed independents and helping give Obama an edge as we enter the final stretch. But buried near the end of the poll is this fascinating question, asked only of Republicans and Republican leaning voters...

If John McCain is not elected president, which one of the following three possible candidates would you be most likely to support for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012?

The topline results are an amazing repudiation of the McCain/ Palin ticket:

Mitt Romney 35%
Mike Huckabee 26%
Sarah Palin 20%
Other Candidate 10%
Don't Know 9%

Among "traditional" Republicans, it's:

Mitt Romney 42%
Mike Huckabee 23%
Sarah Palin 19%
Other Candidate 9%
Don't Know 7%

Even among "social conservative" Republicans, Sarah still trails Mittens and Huckabee:

Mitt Romney 30%
Mike Huckabee 31%
Sarah Palin 23%
Other Candidate 8%
Don't Know 8%

Now, it's always been assumed that even if Palin had lost moderate and swing voters, she still had the support of the base. And by a 38-9 margin, Republicans say Palin makes it more likely that they will support McCain. But it may be that many Republicans LIKE Palin, but that that doesn't translate into a desire to see her as the presidential nominee in her own race. Quite frankly, it may be that many Republicans see the writing on the wall as much as everyone else and simple believe Palin is not the most qualified candidate. It's also not great news for Giuliani, who apparently is already in the early stages of launching his 2012 effort.

So, while this election is clearly not over, and obviously a lot can happen in 4 years, we're left with an interesting take away - at the moment, Republicans clearly prefer McCain's primary rival, Romney, over his chosen successor, Palin, for 2012.

Tags: 2012, Huckabee, John McCain, Romney, Sarah Palin, VP (all tags)



She Was Never Going to be the 2012 Nominee

No one rides the #2 slot on a losing ticket to a future nomination.  And no one rides the Alaska Governorship to the nomination, either.

Besides, when there is no incumbent Republican President, the GOP almost always nominates someone who came in "second" previously (unless there is no such person running - see 2000).  Romney came in second this time around, though Huckabee probably has somewhat of a claim to that as well.  So those two should be frontrunners at this point in time.

And if the GOP were to go with a small-state, fundamentalist Governor, Bobby Jindal would like run circles around Palin anyway.

by Collideascope 2008-10-25 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: She Was Never Going to be the 2012 Nominee

Well...not no one. Bob Dole did it:D

by animated 2008-10-25 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: She Was Never Going to be the

she was the novelty choice, even if John won she'd never be the pug candidate.  And maybe she's figured that one out and that's why she isn't cooperating, maybe she was misled into thinking some of them respected her?  

by anna shane 2008-10-25 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: She Was Never Going to be the 2012 Nominee

And Mondale

by Rob in Vermont 2008-10-25 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: She Was Never Going to be the 2012 Nominee

So you think losing in 1980 is what made Mondale the 1984 nominee?

It wasn't.  It was ... ummm ... winning in 1976 and becoming Vice President.  That and a distinguished career as a Senator.

I didn't say you can't be the nominee if you lose as a running mate.  I said losing as a running mate does not launch a future nomination.

And it didn't for Mondale.

by Collideascope 2008-10-25 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: She Was Never Going to be the 2012 Nominee

No, he didn't.

Dole rode 27 years in the Senate, 11 of those years as his party's caucus leader (3 of them as Majority Leader) and a strong second-place showing in the bid for the 1988 nomination to his eventual nomination in 1996.

Yes, he was on the ticket in 1976, but that wasn't the springboard for him to a nomination.  In fact, he performed miserably when he ran for President four years later in 1980 and dropped out after getting 1% of the vote in the Iowa caucus and 0% (a whopping 597 votes) in the New Hampshire primary.

by Collideascope 2008-10-25 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: She Was Never Going to be the 2012 Nominee

Not for years later though...

My prediction... either she retires or goes after a senate seat

by yitbos96bb 2008-10-25 04:27PM | 0 recs
The GOP Coalition

I don't know if the GOP coalition can hold together after this year - especially if McCain loses big (and he hasn't lost at all yet... don't want to tempt the wrath of the whatever high atop the thing).

Reagan was really the only one keeping the social conservatives, the East Coast plutocrats, and the Western libertarians together (to say nothing of the various foreign policy schools) - and it's now been 20 years since he was president.  Without a strong figure holding them, I think we're going to see a massive struggle for the "soul" of the Republican Party - and unless the brand is strong enough to hold everyone in, a substantial portion of at least one of those three groups (the theocons, the plutocrats, or the libertarians) is going to bolt.  I could see scenarios in which each of the three groups bolts - they hold beliefs that are in many ways mutually exclusive of one another.  It all depends on who wins control in the New New GOP.

If McCain loses - and especially if he loses big - each of the three groups is going to blame the party for not nominating their guy.  That's what you get when you nominate someone mistrusted by all the major constituencies, but despised by none of them.

Let's make sure that happens.  Time to get back to work.

by mistersite 2008-10-25 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: The GOP Coalition

Good point. To some degree the libertarians have already bolted, beginning with the Ron Paul candidacy. It is also kind of surreal to watch some of the "plutocrats" as you call them, jump on board the Obama train. Was watching Larry King last night and he had Scott McClellan and Christopher Hitchens on as OBAMA surrogates.

by animated 2008-10-25 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: The GOP Coalition

Just to be fair... They said the same thing about us 4 years ago... remember the Perm Minority comments.  

Thank god Dean got in there... and then I'm glad we got a pres candidate who really made a go at the 50 state strategy...
Plus the long primary helped too.... We can turn Obama's network into a permanent infrastructure for the party.

by yitbos96bb 2008-10-25 04:29PM | 0 recs
Meaningless polls

   as no one has any idea what the political conditions would be like in 2012.

  Sarah Palin is a lunatic. Not only that, she's DUMB!! Bone chilling, jaw dropping DUMB! And most Americans have realized it. Her image has taken such a pounding that, after this election, she will retreat back to Alaska, and not venture out again except for fundraisers (where unfortunately, she will be a huge draw).

  The pundits, professors and yes even political operatives like myself, will be pretty much unanimous that her prescence on the ticket doomed McCain's chances. That's not a good start.

by southernman 2008-10-25 10:02AM | 0 recs
Yes, I see a Quayle like existence in her future.

Quayle too had his little cabal of rabid supporters, mainly within the religious right. But no one ever dared nominate him for anything of significance again.

by Sumo Vita 2008-10-25 10:16AM | 0 recs

Either Romney or Jindal.  Palin has not been able to hold up for 8 weeks; it seems unlikely to me that she could win a months-long, state-by-state nomination.

by rfahey22 2008-10-25 10:09AM | 0 recs
Jindal is Young

He's not likely to waste his time challenging an incumbent President.  Much better to wait for an open election - after all, even come 2032 (that's six elections after the one this year) he'll still only be 61 years old.

by Collideascope 2008-10-25 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Jindal is Young

Obama was young and inexperienced too... But I agree with you... I think he'd be insane to take on an incumbent... unless something happens that makes Obama very unpopular.  

Kind of like Hillary backing off in 2004... although, hindsight being 20/20 I think she would have run had she realized that even Kerry made it uber close.

Jindal is a 2016 candidate.   I'm betting Mittens gets the nod as he will be working Nov 5 to court enough of the Social conservs to combine with his strong business conservs to get the nomination... then be crushed like a grape.

Jindal could be trouble... but Warner, Schweitzer or Hillary can beat him.

by yitbos96bb 2008-10-25 04:26PM | 0 recs
Great point. n/t

by spacemanspiff 2008-10-25 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin Already Losing

I doubt Palin runs in 2012.  Too fresh from her overwhelming defeat in 2008.  I think she'll try to rebuild her reputation, perhaps eventually make a run for the Senate, and run again in 2016 or later.

by markjay 2008-10-25 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin Already Losing

Katie Couric permanently ruined her national political career (well, to be honest, Palin did it to herself, Couric was just the catalyst).  AK Senator is as far asshe will ever get.

by NJIndependent 2008-10-25 03:10PM | 0 recs


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