Poll: Trump's entry into the race would hurt Palin the most

It’s weird to think of him pulling votes from anyone, but … Palin? The candidate with the single most devoted base in the entire field?

Draw me a Venn diagram of their respective constituencies, please.

Ten percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican say they would most likely support Trump for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination.

That would place him fifth on the list behind former Arkansas Gov. and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee at 19 percent, former Massachusetts Gov. and 2008 White House hopeful Mitt Romney at 18 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 14 percent, and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at 12 percent…

“Removing Trump’s name from the list and allocating his voters to their second choice gives Huckabee 21 percent and Romney 19 percent – essentially unchanged from January. In a Trump-less field, Gingrich gets 15 percent, up from 10 percent in January, and Paul goes from 7 percent to 11 percent. Palin is the big loser, dropping from 19 percent in a no-Trump round in January to just 13 percent now,” adds Holland.

That’s the fun part of the poll. The less fun part is that Democratic enthusiasm has jumped to 56 percent, trimming a 22-point Republican advantage to … just six. I’m trying hard not to attribute that to a backlash on the left against Wisconsin, but it’s the most compelling explanation I can think of.

As for the Trump/Palin overlap, maybe there’s a portion of disengaged Republican voters who tilt towards the candidate with the highest name recognition. Normally that’s Sarah, but That Guy From “The Apprentice” out-celebrities even her. Similarly, could be that some righties are looking to liven up the debates for fear of a Romney/Pawlenty/Gingrich/Daniels soporific nightmare. Palin and Trump would both achieve that. Or maybe some of Palin’s support right now is as a protest vote by people disaffected with the establishment GOP. I’m skeptical of that, though, since protest votes don’t normally go to candidates like her who can actually win. If the Trump vote is coming from people who are simply looking to spoil a ballot as a kiss-off to the top contenders in the field, I would think he’d be pulling more from someone like Ron Paul (who actually finished two points behind Trump) than from her.

All theories welcome. Via JWF, here he is today on “The View” devoting yet another media appearance to the vagaries of Obama’s birth certificate.

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David Strom 3:31 PM on November 30, 2022