The new Washington Post-ABC News poll sneaks a little bit of reality into the maelstrom of Sarah Palin news. Fifty-three percent of Americans would “definitely not” vote for Palin in a hypothetical 2012 presidential race. For comparison, when the Post asked this question about then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in 2006, only 42 percent said they’d definitely vote against her. Palin’s solid support — those who’d “definitely vote for” her — is 9 percent, about half of Clinton’s in 2006.
It’s one poll, but it’s only the latest to portray Palin as an unpopular — forget “divisive” — figure whose weakness with the general electorate has no bearing with her popularity among Republicans. And it cuts against the surreal arguments that Palin is in a good position to rebuild an image that was positive for, at most, about four weeks in 2008. Clinton’s 42 percent “definitely not” number was the kind of thing that encouraged Democrats like Barack Obama and John Edwards into the race against her. Palin’s 53 percent is just brutal.