RSS
Time to ban Sarah Palin polls?
Some say it's impossible to analyze the unconventional political star's appeal using ordinary methods
A

s Sarah Palin celebrated her birthday this Thursday, the results of the latest in a rash of Palin polls arrived. Only 3 out of 10 respondents in an ABC News/Washington Post survey say the former governor is qualified to be president. Bad news for Palin? Not so fast: According to other recent polls, nearly two thirds of Republicans would "consider" voting for her in 2012. Is there something intrinsically un-pollable about Palin?

Please! No more Sarah Palin polls: The media should stop commissioning polls to explain the Palin phenomenon, says Ravi Somaiya in Gawker. Her fans are extremists — like Islamists or the far left. "She can evade taxes, lie outright, stand next to animals being slaughtered…and still her followers bay for her." Using polls to figure out what makes them tick, the way we do with mainstream Republicans and Democrats, is a waste of time.
"No more surveys about Sarah Palin please"

Contradictory polls aside, she's a contender: Palin's keynote address at the National Tea Party Convention and her Fox News debut "showed off a public figure at the top of her game," says David Broder in The Washington Post. Her "pitch-perfect" populism fits the mood of the country. Take Palin seriously.
"Sarah Palin displays her pitch-perfect populism"

Her base is loud, but not large enough yet to poll correctly: "Governor Palin [generally] appeals to a group of people who are…frustrated, feel disenfranchised, are very conservative,” says Vice-President Joe Biden, as quoted in Politico. While there's no doubt her base extends beyond vocal Tea Party stereotypes, "I don't know that it represents anything approaching a significant portion of the population.”
"Pollster, Biden agree on Palin"

The media won't be kicking the polling habit anytime soon: Even if Fox News insists that mainstream reporters hate Palin, say Jim Vandehei and Jonathan Martin, also in Politico, "the reality is exactly the opposite: We love Palin," because she generates clicks and sells newspapers.
"Why the mainstream media loves Sarah Palin"

...........................................

SEE MORE OF THE WEEK'S COVERAGE OF SARAH PALIN:

Could Sarah Palin win in 2012?
Sarah Palin's 'crib note' scandal
'God's plan' for Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin: leaving the GOP?

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week