Palin takes a polling hit

January 20, 2011

By ANDY BARR, Politico

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s political standing has taken a hit following the recent shooting in Tucson, according to new polling data out Tuesday.

Palin’s favorability rating hit a new low in the USA Today/Gallup poll, landing at 38 percent. The 53 percent who have an unfavorable view of Palin is a new high.

The poll came on the same day that Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen previewed a survey set for release later this week that shows Palin trailing President Barack Obama by 17 percentage points in a potential matchup — her largest deficit since March 2009.

The striking thing about the fall in Palin’s numbers is that polls show she is not getting blamed for the shooting, despite efforts by liberal commentators to pin at least some of the blame on the GOP’s 2008 vice-presidential candidate.

In a separate PPP survey released Tuesday, 64 percent of respondents said Palin does not bear any responsibility for the shooting, which left six dead and 13 injured, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). But her video response last week accusing the media of manufacturing a “blood libel” against her did not go over well.

Forty percent of those polled said the video was “inappropriate,” compared to just 27 percent who found it “appropriate.” Thirty-three percent of respondents were not familiar with the video.

Palin’s movement is incremental in both polls. But for a politician with nearly universal name identification whose favorability rating has moved little since mid-2009, the small dip following a week of bad press is significant.

Perhaps sensing the damage Palin’s brand has taken after her sometimes incendiary rhetoric was criticized in the wake of the shooting, supporters of the former governor have launched a full-throated defense.

The Palin-friendly site Conservatives4Palin has organized an online moneybomb fundraising effort for Palin’s PAC this week.

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