by animated, Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 09:27:05 AM EDT
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.