Iowa Poll: Republicans Look Less Kindly on Palin

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 28 2011 12:37 PM

Iowa Poll: Republicans Look Less Kindly on Palin

How much should we read into a poll of 189 Republican likely voters in Iowa? We know enough to say this Iowa Poll isn't great for Sarah Palin, even if it has 2/3 of Republicans still holding a favorable opinion of her.

Palin's favorability has slipped among Iowa Republicans who say they will vote in 2012 to 65 percent in the poll taken this month from 71 percent in November 2009.

During that time, Palin has produced two best-selling books, become a regular contributor to Fox News Channel and become the subject of a television program on TLC.

She has also visited Iowa four times, including three times to promote her books and once to headline a state Republican Party fundraiser. Each appearance has drawn Iowa and national news coverage.

The new poll shows fewer likely voters who are Republicans view Palin very favorably, 18 percent, than the 27 percent who did so in the Register's November 2009 poll.

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Straw polls aren't as meaningful as this, and Palin did fairly well in the poll at this weekend's Tea Party Patriots policy summit in Arizona. The results from the live poll (excluding online results)*:

Herman Cain: 22.0%
Tim Pawlenty: 15.9%
Ron Paul: 15.0%
Sarah Palin: 10.1%
Mitt Romney: 6.5%
Michele Bachmann: 5.6%
Newt Gingrich: 5.3%
Mike Huckabee: 4.6%
Mitch Daniels: 4.5%
Donald Trump: 3.1%
Rick Perry: 1.8%
Haley Barbour: 1.0%
Rick Santorum: 0.5%
Barack Obama: 0.2%
Jon Hunstman: 0.2%

Not bad for Palin, but once again, she doesn't win a straw poll. She's never won one. She's not as popular among Iowa Republicans as she used to be. The discrepancy between her celebrity coverage and political importance for 2012 is widening.

*I rounded and left out the results for "other."

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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