Although the Senate is still in the hands of the Democrats, the GOP took the House convincingly in the mid-term elections. So it should be no surprise that Republicans are looking to the next US General Election in 2012, for a crack at the presidency. Their only problem is to select and field a credible candidate.
A number of names has been pitched, but for some, their past record has not been inspiring: Mike Huckabee failed to get the nomination last time round, Newt Gingrich ultimately failed in his head to head with Bill Clinton, and Dick Cheney left the vice presidency with appalling approval ratings.
But there is always Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor did give John McCain’s campaign a poll lift in 2008, but it didn’t last, and it didn’t stop Barack Obama – who will be the Democrats’ candidate in 2012. Even so, the debate on the right is about whether or not she will run. But she would need to appeal to more than the GOP base.
So a new poll from Gallup will not make good reading for Sarah 2012. Her overall unfavourable score now stands at 52%, those numbers breaking down to over 80% of Democrats and 53% of Independents, and she would need to appeal to both. And Palin’s favourable numbers are equally poor.
A full 80% of Republicans score her favourably, but among Independents the number falls to 35%, and right down to 15% of Democrats. Those numbers will inevitably come under pressure in the heat of a presidential campaign, when a candidate must set out their ideas, and how they would govern.
So maybe the GOP would be better advised looking elsewhere for their 2012 pick. The problem they have is that, right now, no-one else looks any better.