Monday, February 28, 2011

Iowa's 'Des Moines Register' has bad news for Sarah Palin ... and an explanation of how she's failing Iowa voters. Updated! With Comic Relief

A respected poll out of Iowa has more bad news for Sarah Palin this morning:
The Des Moines Register has -- Does Sarah Palin know that Des Moines is in Iowa? -- has "Iowa Poll: Palin's favorability rating slips."

The Boston Herald has, via AP, via The Des Moines Register -- looks like Des Moines' Register is on the case -- "Sarah Palin’s favorability rating drops in Iowa."

Politico's Ben Smith wrote, citing Des Moines' Register, "Palin fades in Iowa poll."

The Atlantic has -- What? Another cite for the Des Moines paper? -- "Poll: Palin's Numbers Dip in Iowa."
The Register's poll shows that Palin's favorability -- favorability is not the same as support for a candidacy -- rating has fallen to 65 percent compared with 71 percent in November of 2009. That drop, according to the Register's Poll Director, raises doubts about a Palin candidacy in Iowa:
... While a solid majority of [likely Republican voters] still views Palin positively, the intensity has waned as Palin has become a regular national media presence but done little to cultivate a support base in Iowa.

The shift is not dramatic, but it raises questions about whether Palin would have staying power in Iowa as she moves closer to a decision on a White House run, pollsters say.

"One might ask the question: Is she wearing well? And the numbers are not moving in a favorable direction on that," Iowa Poll director J. Ann Selzer said. ...

... [Since November of 2009], Palin has produced two best-selling books, become a regular contributor to Fox News Channel and become the subject of a television program on TLC.

She has also visited Iowa four times, including three times to promote her books and once to headline a state Republican Party fundraiser. Each appearance has drawn Iowa and national news coverage.

The new poll shows fewer likely voters who are Republicans view Palin very favorably, 18 percent, than the 27 percent who did so in the Register's November 2009 poll.

"The change in intensity is statistically significant," said Adam Geller, a Republican pollster and campaign consultant to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's 2009 campaign. "If you're Sarah Palin, you want those lines on the chart going up as the presidential contest gets closer, not going down." ...

... Favorability is not the same as support for Palin's candidacy, should she decide to run. ...

... Palin has done very little to cultivate political good will in a state where face-to-face meetings with influential activists, officials and organizers are common. Palin held no private political meetings during any of her four visits. She met briefly with about 50 influential Republican officials and donors during a reception before the fundraiser she headlined in September, but did not discuss mounting an Iowa campaign.

Some Iowa Republicans have said privately they do not expect Palin to run, considering her low profile in the state.

A reason for the dimmed enthusiasm for Palin could be her national exposure combined with her lack of Iowa activity, Geller said.

"She hasn't been active in the state. And Iowans have that expectation and a feeling of responsibility to see these people up close," Geller said. "But it might also be a little Sarah Palin fatigue. They are familiar with her and yet they are not necessarily embracing her. Sixty-five percent is not a very high favorable rating." ...

... Meanwhile, the percentage of likely Republican voters who view Palin unfavorably has grown to 30 percent in the new poll, up from 23 percent in the 2009 survey. ...

There is more at the Register's article, including quotes from Iowa Republicans -- there is at least one die-hard Palin supporter among them. I'll certainly be checking the Register -- Don't we need to adopt a standard for setting off the names of newspapers? periodicals? TV shows? -- checking for news of the Iowa caucuses.

Comic Relief: Wonkette has found a secret Twitter account that's said to be Sarah Palin's, used by her so that she can "follow" herself. At Wonkette's story, there are also links to the story of Sarah's secret Facebook account -- discovered by Wonkette, earlier -- an account she used to praise herself.

Update: Yay! The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart has weighed in with his "Iowa Republicans cool to Sarah Palin:"
First, Sarah Palin's presidential flirtations hit a granite wall in New Hampshire -- home of the first-in-the-nation primary. Now comes a poll that shows likely Republican voters in Iowa -- home of the first-in-the-nation caucus -- are cooling to the half-term governor's charms. ...

... The Iowa poll is statistical proof of what Dan Balz reported two weeks ago in a report on Iowa Republican activists. Folks really like Palin. They just don't think she's ready to be president. Here's what Iowa physician Christi Taylor told Balz.
As a woman, and from one strong woman to another, I want to like her and want to support her desperately. And yet, you just can't quite do it. ...
At the end of Capehart's post, there is a chart of Palin's favorable/unfavorable rating since September of 2009. It doesn't look good for our lady-in-waiting. I admire Jonathan Capehart, because he has held a consistent view of Sarah Palin's presidential prospects for some time -- he isn't affected by Palin mania -- and I think he's right: "Sarah Palin is everywhere -- and going nowhere."

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