Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

 

Even GOP activists are turning against Sarah Palin

McClatchy Washington Bureau

 

Even GOP activists are turning against Sarah Palin

 

Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: February 24, 2011 07:05:31 PM

 

ROCK HILL, S.C. — As Sarah Palin wonders whether to run for president, she might want to talk to people in places such as South Carolina.

She'd find her star fading, and her prospects daunting.

Republicans still like her, but now they openly question whether she could or should be nominated for president, let alone elected.

At a recent gathering in South Carolina, the site of a crucial early presidential primary next year, party activists said the former Alaska governor didn't have the experience, the knowledge of issues or the ability to get beyond folksy slang and bumper-sticker generalities that they think is needed to win and govern.

Many are shopping for someone else. They're looking at Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., for example, and seeing what they call a smarter, more experienced candidate who's equally as conservative.

"Sarah Palin with a brain," said Gail Moore, a Republican from Columbia.

While national polls show that Palin still would win the support of about one in five Republicans in a national face-off today for the nomination, she no longer can claim the dominant role she enjoyed when she burst out of the 2008 campaign as the undisputed star of the party. She's also losing ground quickly among independents, who hold the keys to the White House.

"Her major weakness is that she needs to bone up on how the government works," said Don Long, a retiree from Lake Wylie, S.C. "I don't know if she's done as much of that as she needs to."

Long was one of about 150 Republicans who showed up for a fundraising dinner of the York County Republican Party, where they ate barbecued pork sandwiches from Bats BBQ — "You'll love the way we rub your butt" — and talked presidential politics.

Many already had seen potential candidates in person, such as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and came this time to hear Bachmann.

In interviews, most volunteered criticism of Palin.

"I like Palin," said Joseph Kejr, a Republican from Rock Hill who works in information technology for a Christian ministry. However, he added, "she's not polished in national government. In terms of leadership, I don't know about her."

"I'm not a big Sarah Palin fan," said Joe Thompson of York, who manages a small business and is the president of the South Carolina District 5 Patriots, a group devoted to the Constitution and against big government spending, taxes and programs. "I like her ideas. I'm not sure she'd be able to manage a lot of things she'd have to handle as president."

"She's not really creative," said Swain Shepperd, a retiree from Rock Hill. "She just repeats what's already been said by others." 

Some said she hurt herself by quitting halfway through her term as governor of Alaska, robbing herself of a platform in government. 

That shortfall's become more glaring as party activists have cheered on people who are now governing and fighting to cut spending, such as Govs. Chris Christie in New Jersey, Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Rick Scott in Florida and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, as well as Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives such as Bachmann.

Also, Palin could have problems beyond the party. Polls show that the more the American public has seen of Palin, the less they've liked her.

Since she lit up the national stage in the fall of 2008 as the party's plain-talking vice presidential nominee, the ranks of people who have favorable impressions of her have dropped and the number with an unfavorable impression has spiked.

A Gallup poll taken in September 2008, for example, found that 53 percent had favorable views of her and 28 percent held unfavorable views. Last month, the same poll found the numbers were almost reversed, 38-53.

Even worse for GOP activists, she looks weak against President Barack Obama, a crucial factor for Republicans yearning for a champion who can oust the Democrat from the White House.

A recent McClatchy-Marist poll found that Obama would trounce her by 56-30 percent if the election were held now.

That was by far the weakest among three big-name Republicans tested; Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee each fared better against Obama. And it was considerably weaker than her standing just a month before, when she trailed Obama by 52-40 percent.

The key reason: She's lost support among independents, and she gets far less support from that swing bloc than the other two Republicans tested do.

It's been a surprising turn since 2008, said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York, which conducts the McClatchy-Marist Poll. Despite a barrage of criticism of Palin by Democrats and the news media, she came out of the election looking as if she'd be the major force for the party's nomination.

"She doesn't appeal to the center, and she hasn't been trying to," Miringoff said.

"There's a general sense among Republicans that this is someone they like being part of the 2012 narrative," Miringoff said. "They don't mind her pushing the edge of the envelope on issues. But there's concern about electability, about polarization. They're not necessarily sure she should be the nominee."


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

Archives

June 2021   May 2021   April 2021   March 2021   February 2021   January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe