The pattern goes like this.
1) A poll comes out showing that Sarah Palin is one of the least popular figures in national politics.
2) Conservative supporters of Palin argue that Ronald Reagan didn't poll well, either, before he won the presidency. So there.
3) Another poll comes out showing that Sarah Palin is one of the least popular figures in national politics.
Today it's the WSJ/NBC News poll's turn, and let's just compare the numbers for Palin this month from the numbers in April 2009, before she announced she was leaving the governor's office in Alaska.
Very/Somewhat Positive - 28 (-4)
Very/Somewhat Negative - 50 (+12)
Since trading in her job as a famous but hard-to-cover governor for one as a conservative activist, Palin's favorable numbers have tumbled. Now: Compare the numbers for her to the numbers for Mitt Romney from July 2009 to today.
Very/Somewhat Positive - 28 (+0)
Very/Somewhat Negative - 20 (+0)
No movement whatsoever! On paper, Romney's in the same position as Palin. He doesn't hold office but he's considered a possible 2012 candidate, and he frequently takes stands on national issues. And yet while Palin's numbers have collapsed, Romney has remained well-enough liked, sort of obscure.