Oh my: Palin 28, Romney 18, Gingrich 17, Huckabee 13

Via Conservatives 4 Palin, not only is this the best poll I’ve seen for her this year, it comes from the august precincts of The Economist.

Dude, is this happening?

Sarah Palin 28%
Mitt Romney 18%
Newt Gingrich 17%
Mike Huckabee 13%
Mitch Daniels 4%
Tim Pawlenty 1%
Mike Pence 1%
Haley Barbour 1%
John Thune 1%
No preference 17%

That’s a sample of Republicans, natch. Among tea-partiers, specifically, it’s Palin 26, Romney 19, Gingrich 16, and Huckabee 14. (Mitt does better among tea-partiers than among the GOP generally?) She also leads among a sample of all voters, albeit by only two points over Romney. Can’t tell if this represents a surge for her or if he’s simply fallen back a bit over time due to disgruntlement over RomneyCare, but great news for Palin supporters either way.

Do we dare discuss … the bad news? From the crosstabs:

12. Do you think Sarah Palin would have the ability to be an effective president?
Yes 28%
No 51%
Not sure 20%

18. What do you think is Sarah Palin’s main priority?
What’s best for the country 23%
What’s best for her family 18%
What’s best for her career 49%
Something else 9%

That’s among all voters, who split 41/31 for Obama in a head-to-head match-up and 30/54 on the question of whether they think it’s likely that Palin would beat him if she wins the GOP nomination. The one bright spot in the crosstabs? When asked if the media has been harder on her, treated her the same, or gone easier on her than other politicians, the split is 47/18/22. For Obama it’s only 32/21/37 and for Hillary it’s 27/34/28. In other words, even among a sample of the general public that’s cool to the idea of her as president, there’s plenty of sympathy for how she’s been treated by the press. That’ll be a useful weapon for her if/when she runs and the frenzy of attacks begins, which explains why she was so sharp in rattling off her criticisms of the media to the Daily Caller yesterday. And it’s also a reminder of the point I made last week about her opponents needing to be careful not to condescend to her. No doubt some of this sympathy from the public is a backlash to media lefties unfairly accusing her of being some kind of dullard. That backlash can be transferred to candidates too, I’m sure.

From Alaska morning radio, here’s the latest on whether she’s running next year or not. Skip ahead to 3:50.