Is the GOP base becoming disillusioned with Sarah Palin?

When recently asked if she could defeat President Obama in a head-to-head match-up, Sarah Palin confidently responded in the affirmative.

Her response attracted chuckles from some in the press and within the Obama administration. But for anyone who has followed Palin’s rise from populist governor of Alaska to game-changing lightning rod, it wasn’t surprising to hear her express confidence in her ability to take-on and upend the political juggernaut that is Barack Obama. But a dwindling number of people share the former governor’s belief that she has the political qualities necessary to walk away victoriously from a general election.

No, it’s not just those pesky establishment types who are doubtful Palin can make the transition from a polarizing conservative wonder woman to a presidential contender with broad appeal. It’s also the base of the Republican Party that seems to be thinking longer and harder these days about what the consequences would be of nominating Palin.

A CNN Research/Opinion Research Corporation poll taken last month revealed that only 49 percent of Republicans are “very” or “somewhat likely” to support a Palin presidential bid, down from 67 percent when the same question was posed in December of 2008. Adding insult to injury, the left-leaning outfit Public Policy Polling released troubling numbers from key battleground states reaffirming what many of us already knew: Palin polls poorly in swing states.

The major takeaway here is that Palin’s unique hold on the conservative faithful may be eroding and reservations by the rank and file could increasingly be coming into play as they prepare to nominate their standard-bearer. Yes, it’s never wise to put too much stock in a single poll. But if Palin is as strong as everyone thinks she is amongst the GOP base, wouldn’t other polls taking the temperature for 2012 show her getting a higher percentage of the GOP vote or in possession of a respectable lead over potential rivals?

After all, Palin not only played the game in 2010, she seemed to own it. Other GOP presidential wannabes could only dream of possessing the influence and sway she had in determining Republican primaries and in ginning up the Tea Party vote. What’s more, Palin demonstrated that she still had the capacity to rekindle the 2008 magic by attracting the masses, wowing and firing them up, and getting them to open up their checkbooks for the cause.

Palin’s good works and status as the most exhilarating Republican in the country may not help in counteracting the new dynamic emerging between herself and the GOP base. Recognizing that numbers don’t lie, stalwart Republicans could slowly be reaching the conclusion that while Palin is great as a chief tormentor to liberals, an unbearable nuisance to the Obama White House, and a political phenomenon of the right, her political talents and appeal are not properly suited for a serious run at the presidency.

Surely the GOP establishment is quietly smiling at the prospect that the rank and file is beginning to listen with a careful ear to their concerns over putting Palin at the top of the ticket. Many GOP strategists and conservative pundits have even turned up the heat in recent weeks, with one GOP strategist and conservative pundit after another popping off on Palin, denouncing and dismissing her presidential ambitions in often hostile and definitive terms. The influx of sudden criticism got a cherry on top this past weekend, when conservative icons Charles Krauthammer and George Will told national audiences from the tube that Palin has zero chance of winning the presidency.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush raised eyebrows during the holiday season when she said that Palin should “stay in Alaska” rather than run for president. If skepticism by the GOP base grows and the establishment pile-on continues, it may not be a bad idea for Palin to heed such advice.

Aaron Guerrero is a freelance writer.

  • bigdave


  • michaelslevinson

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    Lev speaks, (a First Amendment right) and Lev will be elected. The powerful know that and will fight his right to access to deliver a mass media speech tooth and nail. Those who favor the status quo are opposed to his program for good ship mother “urf.”


  • J L Fuller

    Sarah is an icon. She represents many things that are good about us as a people and a nation. But she is not presidential material. Not to my way of thinking anyway. Why? she can’t speak without having prepared remarks in front of her. When she does she sounds like a high school drop out and THAT makes her a bad candidate. Think back on George W. Bush and how he was perceived when he spoke off the cuff. He was embarrassing.

    Some think Sarah is just “folksy”, whatever that means. If they mean she speaks like the common man I disagree. Most common people can speak better than that. However, if they mean she speaks like a high school drop out type of folksy then I agree.

    • SargeH

      Her “cut and paste” speeches are merely regurgitations of what others have said earlier and better, minus the cute little folksy talk. We need a conservative candidate of presidential timber who is going to regain the White House for us, not return the Arrogant One to office.

  • wodiej

    Nothing personal, but journalists have lost most of their credibility and their opinion is just that-an opinion. Not the media, not Karl Rove,or any of the other blowhards are going to select my candidate for 2012.

    Charles Krauthammer is an atheist as well as liberal leaning-he is NOT CONSERVATIVE. A person typically will not support someone who does not share their same beliefs. Since Palin believes in God and Krauthammer doesn’t, it really is not unusual or surprising that he does not support Sarah Palin.

    I want to see Palin, a constitutional conservative at the top of the ticket with an equally impressive VP running mate.

    • J L Fuller

      Krauthammer is a liberal? That is just nutty. I don’t know about his religious thinking but he has been honored by some big time religious organizations for his stand on Israel and Judaism so maybe he lost his faith and maybe he didn’t. I don’t know. But them man is about as conservative as it gets. Maybe you don’t watch Fox News or read his columns.

    • SargeH

      Calling Krauthammer a “liberal” demonstrates that nothing you say is to be taken seriously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Todd-Dunning/507915883 Todd Dunning

    Even at the height of her popularity in 2008 she lost to the O-bots. Let’s not roll these dice again.

  • Sonny119

    EXCUSE ME… But it’s not the Conservatives who are disillusioned.. It’s the Liberal Republican Party Bush Elitist RINO Establishment, that is trying to get rid of Gov. Palin, as they see her as one of the People, and not one of them..!!
    They tried same thing to Ronald Reagan in 1980, remember when Ronald Reagan was having Republican Candidates speaking in a question and answer forum, and they tried to do everything they could to take away his microphone, to silence him, but Reagan said outloud, quote; “I am paying for this Microphone”, and the crowd cheered and stood up for Ronald Reagan.. why, because he stood up for himself and the People, that’s why, and NOT for the liberal Elitist Republican Establishment..!!
    They, the Liberal republican Party Establishment Elites, will NOT stifle Gov. Palin, or the Patriotic American Constitutional Conservative Tea Party People, period.!!!

    • SargeH

      That whole “RINO” bit is really wearing thin. Turn the page and look at the candidates like you’re looking for a president, not a prom date.

    • SargeH

      Give it up on the Ronald Reagan bit. She shares nothing in common with him. If you really knew anything about Reagan, by your reasoning you would have to call him a RINO. For starters take a look at his early positions on gays, abortion, etc. Goldwater wouldn’t pass your litmus test on the same issues.

    • SargeH

      One more comment and then I’ll leave you to your fantasies. It Kate Gosselin’s new best friend and camping guide is so much “one of the People,” why are independents now running away from her in droves?

  • robb32

    GOP is really tired of the entire upstart Tea Party thing altogether. They want to USE the fire of the Tea Party, but don’t want them upsetting their apple cart. It’s a Rove thing. Kick all the old school repubes to the curb and let the GOP die. Then the Tea Party can rise from their ashes…and Sarah will be the vanguard speaker for the party.

    • J L Fuller

      Where do you people come up with this stuff? Do you actually read the news and and LISTEN to what the Republicans say? Apparently not according to what you wrote here.

    • SargeH

      The GOP isn’t tiring of the Tea Party, which is a large part of the conservative movement’s strength. But we are tired of a subset of the Tea Party, who can’t see the forest for the trees, and thinks our future depends on snarky comments, insults to leaders who have made us great, folksy talk, and a wannabe reality tv personality in spike heels. It’s time some of you grew up with the rest of the movement.

  • reagantman

    It looks from the data that the GOP base is losing confidence in all the other candidates as well. I wouldn’t hang my hat or write anyone off based on any polls taken in December before any campaigning or any proving of one’s abilities and message has taken place. Ronald Reagan was 25 points behind Jimmy Carter AT THE RNC in 1980.

    Let’s not caricature any candidate based on what the media thinks of them. We better be able to use our own heads and judge for ourselves come campaign time. The last time the media snookered us under the cover of “objective news media.” Let’s not let them brainwash us out in broad daylight this time around now that we know that they lie.

    Learn about each candidate based on what they themselves say and write, not what pundits, the media or the Establishment tell you. Bet on a horse, not against one and go with that horse. It’s our only hope to show backbone as a party and stand firm on our beliefs. We have a Shining City on a Hill to take back. Let’s not screw it up.

    • mbecker908

      Sarah Palin is NO Ronald Reagan.

  • junkmaninohio

    Sarah needs to stay focused on skewering the Democratic left and leave the run for the White House to others. Much as I like and admire her pluck I don’t think she has the gravitas to take on the Obama thugs in 2012. Now if Obama was a moose maybe she would have a chance.

    • J L Fuller

      Yep. You got it right.

  • RUexperienced

    Yes. A thousand times, yes.