Opinion Brief

Is Sarah Palin's endorsement 'toxic'?

A new poll suggests that, outside of GOP primaries, Palin's backing could seriously undermine a candidate's chances

Sarah Palin apparently has the magic touch in picking Republican primary candidates (with a 3 for 3 record in June 8 contests), but is her endorsement the kiss of death in general elections? One clue is tucked inside a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: 8 percent of respondents would be "enthusiastic" if Palin endorsed a Congressional candidate, 17 percent would be "comfortable" with the endorsement, 15 percent would have "some reservations," and 37 percent would be "very uncomfortable" — a 25/52 split against Palin. Does this poll, and others like it, mean anything? (Watch Sarah Palin endorse her "mama grizzly" candidates)

Palin is electoral poison: Finally, proof that a Palin endorsement is "toxic" to a majority of voters, says Greg Sargent in The Washington Post. Only two other attributes of potential candidates were viewed more negatively: Support for Bush's economic policies, and a desire to eliminate federal agencies or Social Security. At the very least, this poll shows "how out of sync with public opinion the media obsession with Palin's influence really is."
"Sarah Palin is toxic"

Voters don't like anybody this year: Sargent can cherry-pick a few Palin numbers from the poll, says a blogger at Left Coast Rebel. but maybe the "real trend" here is that, in this political climate, an endorsement from any politician, especially incumbents, is toxic. Is President Obama "toxic" with his 36 positive/43 negative split? How about Democrats generally, 35/44 negative? Or any candidate who backed health care reform, 39/50 negative? See, liberals, "polling is fun."
"Greg Sargent got it wrong on NBC/WSJ poll"

Palin faces a real test in August: Sargent "obviously has a partisan axe to grind," says Doug Mataconis in Outside the Beltway, but he didn't write the poll, and if its findings are correct, a Palin endorsement "could be a problem in close races." It's worth noting that most of Palin's primary-race endorsements to date were pretty safe bets (some of her endorsees had "nearly insurmountable margins" in the polls), but if Palin-backed "ultimate underdog" Joe Miller unseats Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's GOP primary in August, the Palin effect may still be stronger than we think.
"Endorsement by Sarah Palin seen as a negative, poll shows"

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