In a survey taken before the former vice presidential candidate abruptly announced she was stepping down as governor of Alaska, 45% of Americans said they had a favorable opinion of Sarah Palin — about the same number that had an unfavorable opinion of her (44%). Views of Palin have shifted only slightly since the end of last fall’s campaign; in mid-October, 48% expressed an unfavorable opinion and 42% had a favorable opinion. Palin’s positives are carried by overwhelming support from conservative Republicans (85% favorable) and white evangelical Republicans (84%). Taking a look at two of her potential rivals for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, Palin (73% favorable) remains well out in front of Mitt Romney (57% favorable) and Newt Gingrich (55% favorable) among all Republicans. However, Palin’s favorables dropped 7 points from the mid-October survey among Republicans (80% to 73% favorable) and rose with Democrats (18% to 24% favorable) and independents (39% to 46%). The soon-to-be former governor is also more popular among men than women, the high-school educated than college graduates and among those residing in the South than the Northeast. Read More
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