By Gary P Jackson
No surprise here. Sarah Palin has always had the highest favorablility among Republicans and Republican leaning independents. What’s interesting is Public Policy Polling actually reporting it!
Any time there is talk of a brokered convention, Sarah’s name is conspicuously absent, while Establishment™ types like Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Mitch Daniels are consistently bandied about. It’s funny to see the GOP Elite try and ignore the obvious …. that Sarah Palin is the only one who could unite the Republican Party and lead it to a resounding victory in November.
It’s interesting that, according to this poll, only 53% of the voters are committed to their particular candidate. Just another sign that a brokered convention might not net the results any of the current candidates hope for.
PPP’s newest national poll finds that Mitt Romney leads with 34% to 31% for Rick Santorum, 20% for Newt Gingrich, and 9% for Ron Paul. But if Gingrich dropped out Santorum would have a small lead with 41% to 40% for Romney and 11% for Paul.
46% of Republican primary voters actually do think it’s time for Gingrich to drop out, while 42% think he should continue on. 48% of his supporters would go to Santorum, while 33% would pick Romney. Gingrich dropping out being worth 4 points to Santorum is also what we found on our Illinois poll over the weekend- it would be a boost to Santorum, but not necessarily a game changing one.
A deeper look at the favorability numbers for the two front runners shows two campaigns headed in opposite direction. Romney’s net favorability of +19 (54/35) is up 18 points from our national poll in February, a sign of increasing acceptance with the GOP base. Santorum is actually more well liked than Romney with a net favorability of +29 (59/30). But his numbers are headed in the wrong direction, a 13 point drop from his lofty +42 (64/22) standing a month ago.
Romney has much more solid support than either Santorum or Gingrich. 61% of his supporters say they’ll definitely vote for him, compared to 48% of Santorum’s and 45% of Gingrich’s who express that sentiment. Among just voters whose minds are totally made up Romney’s lead expands to 12 points at 42-30. It’s a little remarkable that as long as this race has gone on, only 53% of voters say they’re firmly committed to a candidate right now.
The talk of a brokered convention never seems to die down and one interesting finding on this poll was that Sarah Palin is far more popular than any of the actual Republican candidates in the race. Her net favorability is +48, with 68% of voters rating her favorably to only 20% with a negative opinion. That compares favorably to +29 for Santorum, +19 for Romney, and -26 for Paul.
Palin is someone GOP delegates might be able to unify around in the case of a hopelessly deadlocked convention. She is seen positively by Gingrich voters (85/7), Santorum supporters (80/10), and Romney ones (57/27) alike. That’s a contrast to Romney who is disliked by both Santorum (38/48) and Gingrich (32/54) voters and Santorum who is disliked by Romney (38/48) voters and only seen narrowly favorably by Gingrich (46/42) backers.
One other side note after the Puerto Rico primary was in the spotlight over the weekend- only 22% of Republican primary voters support Puerto Rican statehood, while 49% are opposed to it and 29% have no opinion.
Full results here
No surprise that both Gingrich and Santorum voters think highly of Sarah Palin, it’s also no surprise that Romney supporters are less enthused, as she is a direct threat to their guy, IF a brokered convention came to be. And that’s a big if.
Both Santorum and Gingrich are admitting they have little or no chance of beating Mitt Romney in the primary process. Their focus has shifted to making sure Romney doesn’t get the 1144 delegates needed to cinch the nomination. That in itself is going to be a tough battle, as Mitt is already halfway there, with some big states and winner-take-all contests still to come.
That said, I’m one of those hoping for a brokered convention, as I’m not wild about any of these candidates, and getting less excited about them as time goes by.
I wish both Gingrich and Santorum luck in the efforts, but those two better be careful what they wish for. You can bet if Romney doesn’t win on the first ballot Sarah Palin’s name will be placed in nomination. If this happens, I think we all know what the result will be.
Sarah has also said she thought Congressman Allen West would make an awesome Vice President.
Palin/West 2012 has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think.