By Ted McLaughlin / The Rag Blog / February 12, 2010
The teabaggers, Republican right-wingers, political pundits, and media talking heads seemed determined to keep Sarah Palin relevant, and an important figure on the American political scene. For the media talking heads, she is a good story since few people are noncommittal about Palin — you either like her or hate her.
Three TV networks even carried her speech to the sham teabagger convention a few days ago (although I doubt that many Americans watched). The media seems to think that Palin actually makes politics interesting, and they don’t want her to go away because then they would be reduced to covering only boring real politicians — whom the American public really won’t take much interest in for another couple of years.
The political pundits basically have the same interest as the media talking heads. They know a column about Palin will get readers — even those who hate her will read the column. Whereas, a column about Mitt Romney or some other semi-competent politician will not get nearly the readership. Therefore, they go out of their way to try and convince readers that Palin is popular and actually has a chance to be elected to something again.
As for the teabaggers and right-wing Republicans, they are just trying to remain relevant themselves. They have to appeal to the Palin-bots, because they make up a large part of the base for both groups and without them they would wither into insignificance. The teabaggers have little connection to reality, but I think most Republicans know Palin is not a real possibility as a candidate — they just can’t say that out loud without angering a large part of their base.
But regardless of how hard the teabaggers, Republicans, pundits and media personalities try to keep Palin relevant to the national political scene, the American people aren’t buying it. With each month that goes by, fewer people have a favorable opinion of Sarah Palin. As the chart above shows, Palin’s popularity is dropping like a rock(and has been dropping since September of 2008).
According to Washington Post/ABC News polls, back in September 2008 Palin had a favorability rating of nearly 60%. At that time, she was new on the national political scene and the public knew very little about her. But as the public learned more, her favorability rating has dropped in every poll taken since then.
According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, taken after her nationally televised speech, her popularity is still declining. Currently, 37% of Americans view her favorably (the lowest of any poll so far) and 55% of Americans view her unfavorably (a clear majority, even considering the 3% margin of error).
But it gets even worse for Palin. That’s because about 30% of those who view her favorably don’t think she is qualified to be president. Only 26% of Americans believe she is qualified, while a full 71% say she is not qualified. These numbers are also going in the wrong direction for Palin (back in November 2009 38% said she was qualified and 60% said she wasn’t).
The powers that be may still be touting the viability of a Palin candidacy, but the American people are simply not buying it.
[Rag Blog contributor Ted McLaughlin also posts at jobsanger.]