CNN Poll: Sarah Palin most like Ronald Reagan

posted at 9:10 pm on June 13, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Somehow, I missed this in a summary I read of a CNN poll released yesterday — probably because the summary doesn’t mention it, even though the full poll results do. Of all the candidates who are either running or still considering a run for the presidency, Sarah Palin most reminds voters of conservative hero and former President Ronald Reagan. (Well, technically, “No GOP candidate” tops the list, but Sarah Palin receives the next-highest proportion, a respectable 16 percent.) Unfortunately for Palinistas, at the moment, Palin’s not even really among those “considering a run for the presidency.”

But Palin’s popularity wasn’t the take-home lesson of the poll. As the CNN headline put it, the moral of the poll was this: Republicans want a winner.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday morning, three-quarters of Republicans and GOP leaning independent voters say they want a party nominee who can defeat President Barack Obama in 2012, even if that person doesn’t agree with them on every issue. That’s up seven percentage points from January.

Only 24 percent say that they want a candidate who agrees with them on every issue even if that person may not be able to beat Obama next year, down five points from the beginning of the year.

It’s oft-repeated that ultimate electability ought to be of first concern even in primary elections. The old Buckley rule: Pick the most conservative candidate who can win. If that’s the case, perhaps the candidates tonight should worry less about proving their conservative chops and focus instead on making a presidential impression. Articulate a clear message, defend controversial positions, but, mostly, just try to rise above the fray.

The ideological purist in me has a hard time rooting for a candidate I disagree with more than another candidate for any reason. That also makes me wish candidates would be more willing to walk into the weeds. Ultimately, I trust the presidential presence will take care of itself: As I’ve argued before, voters will naturally think of the eventual nominee as more qualified for the presidency than a squabbling contender for the nomination.

But the electability factor is certainly something to keep in mind throughout this debate, especially as one of the key factors that contributes to the ability to win is name recognition — and several candidates stand to benefit in that regard from this very first debate. (Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum all come to mind.) And, of course, in the end, it all comes down to this: Whoever wins the GOP nomination would in all likelihood make a better president than Obama — and Obama’s who’ll the nominee will have to beat.


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idesign on June 13, 2011 at 9:58 PM

I was hoping you would see the mockery of the “moving” goal-posts.

Geochelone on June 13, 2011 at 10:01 PM

It wasn’t completely wasted. ;)

kim roy on June 14, 2011 at 2:31 AM

Palin loves the smell of motorcycle emissions or something.None of the folks running evoke Reagan at all.

Southernblogger on June 13, 2011 at 11:12 PM

That Reagan wasn’t into motorcycles, (I guess), is a superficial difference, but I think Palin has the greatest potential to appeal to the Reagan coalition.

FloatingRock on June 14, 2011 at 2:34 AM

Most people don’t know about the email fiasco, but they do know about a certain Paul Revere quote. She should have done a much better job explaining herself with that PR idea, but she F’d it up.

toliver on June 13, 2011 at 10:18 PM

You’re serious, aren’t you? The emails were on front pages of newspapers and leads on TV news. The PR thing, not so much. They called out for volunteers for the emails, FFS.

What is WRONG with you PDS people?

kim roy on June 14, 2011 at 2:35 AM

Let’s see…

How many Palin haters do we have, and how many kids does Romney have?

trigon on June 14, 2011 at 3:28 AM

Let’s see…

How many Palin haters do we have, and how many kids does Romney have?

trigon on June 14, 2011 at 3:28 AM

Rywall doesn’t count. I don’t believe he ever had parents.

trigon on June 14, 2011 at 3:31 AM

toliver on June 13, 2011 at 10:00 PM

F’d up like —“Obama smiled and interjected, “Shovel-ready was not as … uh .. shovel-ready as we expected
That only cost us $700 Billion dollars!

DSchoen on June 14, 2011 at 5:46 AM

Why is Reagan’s ghost green like Slimer from Ghostbusters?

aengus on June 14, 2011 at 6:23 AM

aengus on June 14, 2011 at 6:23 AM

I see this poll as typical CNN gamesmanship. They bring up the ghost of Reagan to overshadow the current crop. I have to say that it worked, in that not only is there no Reagan, but that the group we have does look Lilliputian by comparison.

MJBrutus on June 14, 2011 at 6:54 AM

I have since come to the conclusion that she would make a great carnival barker. If you don’t engage, then you will not win.

Southernblogger on June 13, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Is that you Mr President LOL!

Dr Evil on June 14, 2011 at 7:17 AM

Reagan was called the ‘Teflon president’, because non of the lies the media flung at him stuck.

Slowburn on June 14, 2011 at 1:45 AM

Gov Perry is similar, if he jumps in, the Media is going to have a he11 of a time smearing him.

Dr Evil on June 14, 2011 at 7:19 AM

Perry is also very good at feeding the base red meat. It’s something the others could learn from him. The media is going to bash them, they are Republicans so why not get their shots in, and take their lumps. American politics is a contact sport, James Carville.

Dr Evil on June 14, 2011 at 7:22 AM

That Reagan wasn’t into motorcycles, (I guess), is a superficial difference, but I think Palin has the greatest potential to appeal to the Reagan coalition.

FloatingRock on June 14, 2011 at 2:34 AM

I love Ronald Reagan (and miss him terribly) and nobody comes close to inspiring that devotion but Palin. If she chooses to not run she will still have a huge influence on my choice.

SKYFOX on June 14, 2011 at 7:37 AM

Dreadnought on June 13, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Didn’t say they were exactly alike, was just reading and came across the “potted plants” line and thought it was apropos in some ways.

It’s just kind of funny to watch folks rail about “quitting!” being the death knell of political careers, then reading how Jefferson resigned (as Washington’s Secretary of State!) then went on to be President several years later, or how Madison retired to Montpelier from Congress before returning to Washington and eventually becoming President.

Let me clearly state: Palin has work to do if she’s serious about trying to win the nomination, and the Presidency. However, it is certainly possible, and she has a strong base to launch a run. Then, it will be up to her to offer a compelling case to voters.

The “oh no, if she runs it will be the end of us all!” memes are just ridiculous. Let her run, and succeed or fail.

Just my take.

cs89 on June 14, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Ah yes, electability. Translation: CNN and Hot Air are preparing us for the next John McCain… and with the same results. Nope. The only thing RINOs are good for is providing Pervocrats with cover. I’d far rather spend my time preparing for the second Revolution to put the country back together after the crash with Pervocrat prints all over it.

SDN on June 14, 2011 at 8:25 AM

The “oh no, if she runs it will be the end of us all!” memes are just ridiculous. Let her run, and succeed or fail.

Just my take.

cs89 on June 14, 2011 at 8:04 AM

The “gatekeepers” needs to get squashed.

the_nile on June 14, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Palin has work to do if she’s serious about trying to win the nomination

Amazing that we don’t hear that said as often or as vociferously about Mitt “Socialized Medicine” Romney. Especially as he refuses to distance himself from that debacle or the idiocy of AGW.

Crawford on June 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Good Point. Not to go there – dynasties and such – but Piper will be a good candidate.

Jimmy Doolittle on June 13, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Yeah! I especially liked the hip block she gave that
reporter on Palin’s bus tour.

Amjean on June 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Yeah! I especially liked the hip block she gave that
reporter on Palin’s bus tour.

Amjean on June 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Brutal.

the_nile on June 14, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Everyone says they want an honest moral person to be in politics yet as soon as one emerges we attack them.

Sarah 2012

Grunt on June 13, 2011 at 10:11 PM
I have learned not to expect much from people who admire
Snoop Dog or whatever his name is, Kim Kardashian or any
of the Kardashian’s for that matter, etc.

Many people do not want a president to have morals and principles because they themselves don’t. The “me” generation totally screwed up our country.

Amjean on June 14, 2011 at 9:44 AM

She’s damaged goods for the near future. Go out and talk to regular people that don’t frequent blogs like we do.

toliver on June 13, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Uhm … I do. Here in the South I can guarantee you – she’ll sweep just about every state down here.

She who carries the South carries the nomination.

HondaV65 on June 13, 2011 at 10:31 PM
I agree! I have many customers in the south and they
love Palin.

Amjean on June 14, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Tina! We need BIG pictures of the U.S. Flag today (Flag Day) and perhaps something nice for the Army’s 236th Birthday today please???

Roy Rogers on June 14, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Palin doesn’t cry if folk snipe at her.

entagor on June 13, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Her supporters should take note.

Go RBNY on June 14, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Gov. Palin is not Ronald Reagan. But that isn’t what the poll suggests. It does tell the truth, that of all the Conservatives in the public eye today, she is the most LIKE Reagan.

~ Doesn’t care what the Left thinks of her
~ Doesn’t care if her positions have populist appeal
~ Stands firmly upon her beliefs, come what may
~ Answers questions from a stance of principle, not expedience
~ Loves her Creator, her family, her nation unashamedly
~ Willing to fight for the values she holds in esteem

The crowd last night was a great step forward for the Conservative movement, in comparison to candidate slates of the past two decades. Yet none of them ever had Michael Reagan say “Welcome back, Dad”. I think that opinion counts just a bit more than any poll.

Freelancer on June 14, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Her supporters should take note.

Go RBNY on June 14, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Ubiquitous hater

Roy Rogers on June 14, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Here in the South I can guarantee you – she’ll sweep just about every state down here.

She who carries the South carries the nomination.

HondaV65 on June 13, 2011 at 10:31 PM

sure..

State
Palin Favorability
Spread

West Virginia
41/47
-6

Montana
44/50
-6

Mississippi
42/50
-8

Nebraska
42/50
-8

Texas
42/53
-11

Tennessee
39/51
-12

South Dakota
37/55
-18

Georgia
35/56
-21

Missouri
33/56
-23

Ohio
34/58
-24

South Carolina
34/58
-24

Minnesota
35/60
-25

Alaska
33/58
-25

Michigan
34/60
-26

North Carolina
32/59
-27

Nevada
34/61
-27

Florida
32/60
-28

Pennsylvania
33/61
-28

Colorado
32/62
-30

Arizona
32/62
-30

Wisconsin
32/63
-31

Virginia
31/62
-32

Maine
31/64
-33

New Mexico
31/64
-33

Iowa
29/63
-34

Washington
29/65
-36

New Jersey
27/65
-38

California
28/67
-39

New Hampshire
28/67
-39

Massachusetts
27/68
-41

Rhode Island
24/69
-45

windansea on June 14, 2011 at 10:29 AM

No one is Ronald Reagan, and shouldn’t be.

Sarah Palin is SP. Run already, or don’t.

Schadenfreude on June 14, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Reagan successfully governed the most populous state in the Union for TWO TERMS years after his acting career.

toliver on June 13, 2011 at 10:13 PM

HEY!!! Don’t talk about Reagan like that! Just because he required 8 years to accomplish what Palin did in 2 years doesn’t make him incompetent! She’s just more efficient at governing! /sarc

In all seriousness, she did accomplish what she laid out for her term. Results matter, not the time served. She resigned her job to save Alaska and her family from liberals who were using a bad law to bankrupt her and cost the state. I admire her for her dedication to her family and state, and for thinking outside the box.

dominigan on June 14, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Tina,

Where the hell do you get that Palin is not considering a run for POTUS? she has stated numerous times she is considering a run. anyone that thinks “she is not considering a run” should not be writing for a political blog. Now you can argue she may not run but there is no way in hell you can make the case that she is not considering a run. That is one of the more stupid things I have seen you write.

unseen on June 14, 2011 at 12:33 PM

That’s what you get when a liberal news org does a survey. Bull $hit. In here wildest dreams Palin couldn’t hold a candle to Ronald Tiberius Reagan!

HAExpert on June 14, 2011 at 12:43 PM

One more time sans typo

That’s what you get when a liberal news org does a survey. Bull $hit. In her wildest dreams Palin couldn’t hold a candle to Ronald Tiberius Reagan!

HAExpert on June 14, 2011 at 12:44 PM

HAExpert on June 14, 2011 at

Hate to break this to you but Palin is the only Reaganite on the stage. If Palin doesn’t run there is no reaganism represented….

unseen on June 14, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Amazing that we don’t hear that said as often or as vociferously about Mitt “Socialized Medicine” Romney. Especially as he refuses to distance himself from that debacle or the idiocy of AGW.

Crawford

Why would we…he’s in the lead. Sadly, it’s his nomination to lose at this point.

Gov. Palin is not Ronald Reagan. But that isn’t what the poll suggests. It does tell the truth, that of all the Conservatives in the public eye today, she is the most LIKE Reagan.

Freelancer

The poll said she comes in second behind “none are like Reagan”. Not exactly Reaganesque.

Hate to break this to you but Palin is the only Reaganite on the stage. If Palin doesn’t run there is no reaganism represented….

unseen

Don’t you have to be on the stage to be on the stage? I didn’t see Palin on the stage last night. Just an FYI. I don’t blame her though, because it’s still early. But she can’t dodge the debates forever.

xblade on June 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

xblade on June 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

As if I’m going to take a CNN poll for determining who is Reaganesque. As I said, I’ll accept Michael Reagan’s reasoned response as having an authoritative edge.

And, my words still stand. The qualifier, from what you quoted above, is “of all the Conservatives in the public eye today…”

Freelancer on June 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM

And, of course, in the end, it all comes down to this: Whoever wins the GOP nomination would in all likelihood make a better president than Obama — and Obama’s who’ll the nominee will have to beat.

So if we elect a Republican who continues 99.9% of Obama’s policies it’s OK because we’d still be 0.1% better off? At what point does such a victory actually become a loss?

Knott Buyinit on June 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM

xblade on June 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

hmmm the stage is much more than a CNN studio.

unseen on June 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM

LOL Sarah,and Ronnie, you bet they are same kinda Conservatives!!!

Even CNN has to admit this!!!

dec5 on June 15, 2011 at 1:35 AM

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