Monday, April 11, 2011

Saradise Lost - Book 5 - Chapter 44: Have Some Polls With That Toast, Sarah

Commentary on the most recent poll showing the further decline of Sarah Palin leaves little doubt that most consider her to be toast, something many finally perceived by the second week of January (24 chapters ago), at the time of her tasteless "blood libel" remarks. Here's a summary of the results of a Florida poll announced today:
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin seems to be struggling in the latest primary poll out of Florida. The former Republican governor received just 5 percent support, according to the new Sachs/Mason Dixon poll. Ms. Palin’s dismal showing places her just above Indiana governor Mitch Daniels and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

Former Massachusetts governor Mr. Romney leads with 23 percent support among Florida GOP voters, while former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has the support of 18 percent. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump received 13 percent of the vote. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty received less
than 10 percent.
In the comments to the Salon Slate article on this, there seem to still be a few diehards squawking about Palin's fine chances:
Sarah is enjoying her life and family. The pressure is building on Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich, and Pawlenty. Trump is having fun and gaining fans for his TV show. Reagan didn't jump in until a few months before the primaries. Little early to be counting people in or out. All I know is that when Sarah jumps in, its katy bar the door for the GOP. Bachmann knows those 11,000 that attended her rally last year came to see Mrs. Palin. Game, set, Match.
I'm sure we can find many more just like that commenter over at the Sea of Pee, but I'll save that investigation for another time. Meanwhile, a guy who seems to be making a career out of stating the blindingly obvious, or re-stating what others have earlier said far better, Dave Weigel, has this to say from his lonely perch at the other Slate:
Palin's favorable number, always low, starts to get truly subterranean in late 2010, which matches the Kornacki timeline -- this was when a popular narrative (one that even made it on Fox News) was that bad choices cost Republicans some seats. The vote count in Alaska's U.S. Senate race dragged on through December, so there were frequent stories about how Palin's candidate, Joe Miller, had been beaten by a write-in candidate.

When does the unfavorable number spike? Right after January 8, 2011 -- the day Jared Loughner went on his shooting spree. Palin was unfairly dragged into that story because Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, shot by
Loughner, was on Palin's "target map." (There's no evidence that Loughner cared about this.)

But she made the story worse for her by recording a video, right when interest in the Palin/political rhetoric was starting to wane, attacking the media for the "blood libel" it had engaged in. That may have been it for

One factor Kornacki doesn't quite get into -- the rest of the media. Quite frankly there's only so much time for politics coverage, and so much time for the "freak show" coverage that Palin used to dominate. That time is now being occupied by Donald Trump's journey of birtheristic self-discovery and the not-a-joke Bachmann campaign.
Weigel's observation about Trump taking away what limited space there is to cover the "freak show" aspects of GOP politics is quite challenged by the fact that that's pretty much all there is to cover in GOP politics. As faulty as it is, at least Weigel thought of it himself first, eh?

One of Weigel's commenters makes a more original observation, looking at the graph Weigel has gotten from Huffington Post:
I don't see much of a change around January. It looks more to me like the favorability ratings start a gradual slide (and unfavorability ratings rise concurrently) earlier, around early October 2010. This was still election season, and well before the Tucson shootings. What happened in October 2010, then? The beginning of the Palin family's most recent media blitz. Her daughter had just started appearing on "Dancing with the Stars," and the first promos for her new reality show "Sarah Palin's Alaska," which started in November, were coming out. In late October, Karl Rove pointed out how Palin starring in a reality show seemed inappropriate for someone with Presidential ambitions. This, I think, was the point that many conservatives started realizing en masse that Palin was more interested in celebrity status than seriously running for political office, and abandoned her for more serious leaders. (Especially Michele Bachmann, who fires up the base just as much, and is just as good at catching headlines, but without the celebrity sheen.)

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