A Gallup Poll released yesterday indicates that Governor Palin, with 76% favorability among Republicans, tops other possible GOP presidential contenders:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the best known and most positively rated of five possible contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Her 76% favorable rating among Republicans is higher than those for Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Bobby Jindal.
Potential candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination are crisscrossing the nation, making speeches, appearing on television, raising money for their PACs, and in general doing everything short of formally announcing their candidacies as they test the 2012 waters.
Palin has the strongest name identification and positives among Republicans at this juncture. Only 4% say they don't know enough about her to have an opinion, and, by more than 3-to-1, those opinions are positive rather than negative.
See the full poll results and read the rest here.
While it is not certain what Governor Palin's 2012 plans are, one thing is certain: she has clearly been focused on 2010 and helping turn things around in Washington, DC. Her influence in this endeavor is undeniable.
Today, Jonathan Weisman of The Wall Street Journal had this to say:
Through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has burst back into the political spotlight this month, while her family life has once again become part of the broader American conversation.
But it is Ms. Palin's groundwork on behalf of candidates across the country, along with her continued fund-raising abilities, that has Republican leaders and political strategists wondering whether she is gearing up for a presidential bid in 2012.
Ms. Palin's intentions remain unclear, and unstated. She declined to comment through her political-action committee.
But her influence is undeniable: On Sunday, SarahPAC disclosed contributions of at least $87,500 to Republican candidates she has endorsed, and a tantalizing $210,000 she has spent on consultants of her own.
Ms. Palin also appears to have honed her pitch. Last week, SarahPAC posted a "Mama Grizzlies" video online aimed at reaching out to women voters. In the clip, women carried signs such as "I am not the 'Angry Mob.' I am an angry tax-bled 'Hockey Mom.' " Political experts said the video—with its high production values and campaign-like blue hues—was impressive.
She has also been judicious with her political endorsements, for instance backing Nikki Haley for governor in South Carolina despite rumors of scandal surrounding the candidate, and Carly Fiorina for U.S. Senate in California over tea-party favorite Chuck DeVore.
Ms. Palin's backing was seen as important to both candidates' victories—particularly in Ms. Haley's case—bolstering Ms. Palin's political clout and boosting her among women.
"A sign of Palin's political maturity and calculation is that her endorsements have become more strategic than ideological. She's not just picking people who are compatible, she's picking candidates who can win and, therefore, increase her power base," said Mark McKinnon, a former media adviser to President George W. Bush.
Read the rest of Mr. Weisman's article here.
While some media personalities and other talking heads repeatedly state that Governor Palin's influence is non-existent, those who are attentive, astute, and honest know otherwise. I'll leave it at this: whatever Governor Palin's 2012 ambitions are or are not, right now she's displaying a clear understanding of how to motivate, fundraise, and heavily tip the scales in the right direction--and that's exactly the kind of impact America needs.