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Palin's Support for a Candidate Doesn't Matter or Is Mostly Negative, Poll Says

5 years ago
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One of the political parlor games during this midterm campaign is assessing how much President Obama and Sarah Palin potentially help or hurt candidates if they endorse or hit the hustings for them.

The answer for the electorate at large: a plurality says it makes no difference either way if Obama or Palin stumps for a candidate, but Palin's support poses a significantly bigger negative than Obama's.

Republican primary campaigns likely have a different dynamic when it comes to Palin but, for Americans overall, 43 percent said it makes no difference either way if Obama campaigns for a candidate and 42 percent say the same in the case of Palin, according to a Pew Research Center/National Journal poll conducted July 29-Aug. 1.

Barack Obama, Sarah PalinTwenty-eight percent are less likely to vote for a candidate for whom Obama campaigns, and 27 percent are more likely to vote for that candidate.

For Palin, 38 percent say her support would make it less likely that they'd back a candidate. Only 18 percent say it would make it more likely, nine points less than those who would be more likely to back a candidate who has Obama's public embrace.

Forty-five percent of Democrats say they'd be more likely to support a candidate for whom Obama campaigned while 41 percent of Republicans say the same about a Palin-backed candidate. Forty-two percent of both Republicans and Democrats said it would make no difference.

Thirty-six percent of independents would be less likely to vote for a candidate supported by Palin compared to 28 percent who would be less likely to support an Obama candidate.

When it comes to the Tea Party, 41 percent say that it makes no difference to them if the candidate is a supporter of the movement, while 31 percent said they would be less likely to vote for that candidate and 22 percent said it would be more likely.

The New York Times has recently run pieces on both Obama and Palin and the extent of their involvement in the midterms.

"Advisers are trying to determine the balance between using Mr. Obama to inspire voters and keeping him from becoming a defining negative presence," the Times said. "Already, Mr. Obama is popping up more as a target in Republican campaign advertisements than as a positive presence in Democratic ones."

As for Palin, the Times tried to parse how much of her activity is aimed at putting her stamp on the midterms and how much was to keep her visible and "create a political strategy for the future."

For those interested in tracking the results of Palin's endorsements, the Washington Post has created a "Palin tracker" that follows the results.

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Pete Vicario

It is my opinion that this column is totally erroneous. I truly wonder what passes for journalism these days. The recent elections are proof enough. I believe that Palin went 9-3 on candidates she endorsed. Just ask Coakly (Massachusetts), Corzine (New Jersey), and Deeds (Virginia) how the Presidents endorsement helped them out.

August 04 2010 at 9:59 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Nowhere near as demonstrably negative as Obama's endorsement. His support has been enough to sink many a Democrat's hopes, and most congressmen hoping to retain their seats are running as far and fast as they can against the Obama/Pelosi agenda.

August 03 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

No matter how the press wants to spin it, people do listen to Sarah Palin. She speaks directly to a large majority of people who are not being heard or worse yet minimized.

August 03 2010 at 9:28 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Ms. Palin,

PLEASE come to California and endorse Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina!!! They are BOTH inexperienced in politics, just like you are and were. They ARE educated though, so you may not have a lot to talk to them about, but nevertheless, the Democrats invite you to come to California ANYTIME!!! Just send all your bills for the private jet, multiple bodyguards, hair and make up person, designer wardrobe, and your $100,000 speaking fee directly to Meg Whitman. She's spending HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS....with an M, and STILL she slides DOWN DOWN DOWN in the polls. Of course she intends to write it all off as a tax deduction, so she's not worried. 100 MIL is chump change to a BILLIONAIRE like Meg.

The instant you step foot in California both Senator Boxer AND Governor Brown will SKYROCKET in the polls....they are ahead already, but we really don't want Meg or Carly to get their hopes up.

August 03 2010 at 8:56 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

The proof is in the results, not the poll numbers.....whatever your opiinion of Sarah Palin is the fact that she has given endorsements to fourteen candidates in various races and primaries around the country and ten of those candidates have won....Obama on the other hand has endorsed candidates in four races and all of them have lost!!! This woman is NOT to be taken lightly.

August 03 2010 at 8:20 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

I never paid attention to political endorsements.I choose who I vote for on info provided and if I feel they can do the job they are seeking to get.
I can make one observation based on primary elections. A good many of the people Palin supported won their elections and at the same time those getting support from Obama lost.If I were running for office I wouldn't want anyone backing. I would win or lose on my own platform.

August 03 2010 at 8:04 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply

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