I don’t get it. The media sure seems to like him, what with the GOP having been captured by those darned wingnuts and their beloved Bambi turning into the god that failed. Surely a low-charisma technocrat billionaire who bought himself the mayor’s job and is known for spouting bromides about the Ground Zero mosque and salt is just what America’s craving in 2012.

Here’s another reason for the media to like him:

Massive amounts of attention have been given over the last few years to a possible Michael Bloomberg Presidential run in 2012. And a new PPP poll finds that he is indeed a unifier- Democrats, Republicans, and independents all don’t like him.

Only 19% of Americans expressed a favorable opinion of Bloomberg on our most recent national poll while 38% said they see him unfavorably. That -19 favorability spread makes him more unpopular than Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and even Sarah Palin and places him slightly ahead of only Newt Gingrich. Republicans are the most negative toward him, giving him a 12/48 favorability. Independents weigh in at 19/37, and only Democrats even come close to rating him positively with 24% saying they have a favorable opinion of him to 30% with a negative one…

It does appear at this point that Bloomberg would hurt Republicans (or at least Romney) more than he’d hurt Obama. Asked who they would support in a head to head between Obama and Romney, 50% of Bloomberg’s supporters say Romney to only 21% for Obama. As a result that gives Obama a 6 point lead in a three way with Romney when it’s only a single point in a head to head.

I’m surprised that the only three-way race they polled was between Obama, Bloomberg, and Romney. It stands to reason that Bloomy would hurt a centrist Republican nominee more. Against a more conservative nominee, like Palin, maybe not so much. Speaking of which, Obama leads her head to head by nine points, which is greater than his lead over Romney (one point), Huckabee (three points), and even Gingrich (six points). Her favorable rating among Republicans is high at 67 percent (although Huck’s is a point higher), but at 25 percent her unfavorables are greater than either Huckabee’s or Romney’s, both of whom are less well known. And as usual, there are electability questions:

Sarah Palin might think she could get elected President in 2012, but few Americans agree. Only 28% of voters in the country think that Palin is capable of defeating Barack Obama while 60% think she is not and 12% aren’t sure.

What might be most troubling for Palin within those numbers is that less than half of Republicans think she’s capable of beating Obama- 48% think she would be able to, 37% think she would not be able to, and 15% have no opinion. Republicans continue overwhelmingly to like Palin- 67% have a favorable opinion of her- but a pretty large number of them have serious electability concerns about her.

It’s worth flagging those numbers now as a data point for comparison later as she gets closer to formally declaring a run. I assume the number of Republicans who think she’s electable will only go up once the idea of her candidacy is a fait accompli; it may be that skeptics are airing doubts now to try to keep her out of that race and that they’ll rally once they have to live with the fact of her running. Or are the anti-Palin centrist Republicans so adamant in their opposition that they’ll actually stay home if she’s the nominee? Coons/O’Donnell redux?

Obama does the same with Democrats against all of the top 4 Republicans, getting 83-84%. There are big differences with Republicans though. Romney and Huckabee each get 87% of the GOP vote, but Gingrich gets only just 81% and Palin’s even lower at 79%. There’s a small but meaningful group of Republicans who are very hesitant to commit to supporting Gingrich or Palin even if they end up with the party nomination. There’s also a wide divide with independents depending on whether the GOP nominee is Palin or one of the others. Obama ties Romney with them and leads Huckabee and Gingrich by only 2 and 3 points respectively with them, but against Palin his advantage expands to 12 points.

I’m expecting a small but significant conservative minority to stay home if Mitt’s the nominee too, mainly because they can’t bring themselves to cast a ballot for the man responsible for RomneyCare. As eager as Republicans are to beat The One, there are some bridges that are simply too far to cross. Or am I misreading that and all of the “Mittens”-haters in our comments are ready to turn out for him if he’s the pick in 2012? I’m not even going to ask about Huckabee.

Exit question: Is Rick Perry running? And if he is, is he a consensus alternative?