Monday, February 28, 2011

Doubting Sarah Palin’s Favorability Decline in The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll


Palin-Iowa-GOP-3ORIGINAL ARTICLE POSTED BY SHANE VANDER HART

Sarah Palin’s favorability ratings are slipping!  Her favorability ratings are slipping!  That’s what you hear from The Des Moines Register today in their latest release of the Iowa Poll.
Tom Beaumont reports a drop from 71% to 65% in the last 15 months.
Three problems with this poll and story.
  1. The sample size – 189 people.  Not exactly the standard used in scientific polls.
  2. The margin of error of 7.1% +/- since the decline falls within the margin of error.
  3. Josh Painter points out that Beaumont fails to mention the last time this was polled was actually back in June.  Her favorability rating then was 58% with a 4.4% +/- margin of error.  So her favorability has actually increased by 6 points since June.
Why not report that?
The thrust of Beaumont’s article seems to have more to do with a lack of political activity in Iowa:
Why not report that?


The thrust of Beaumont’s article seems to have more to do with a lack of political activity in Iowa:

“. Sixty-five percent is not a very high favorable rating.”

But it isn’t a bad favorability rating either.  I agree that if she runs she needs to come to the state, however there are a number of prospective candidates who have not spent much time here…. yet.  I also suspect that her favorability rating will go up if she does start campaigning her because she is extremely good at retail politicking.
As far as the “some Iowa Republicans” who have said privately they don’t expect her to run based on fewer visits to Iowa.  So what?  Frankly I don’t give much credence to people who can’t attach their names to comments made.  It seems like political backbiting from people who support other candidates.  She may not run, but so far we are off to a slow start.  She has made a few visits, but she isn’t camped out here.  There has been some outreach done, but not a ton yet.  You can’t quite compare her activity to Rick Santorum’s or Tim Pawlenty’s for instance because she does have more name recognition, media exposure, and still has a lot of grassroots support.  Her campaign and candidacy will look different, but that doesn’t mean none of the rules apply
I still think she needs to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll and not wait too much longer, but I’m not writing off a candidacy yet.  It’s too early especially since no one has formally announced yet.
Anyway putting forth a narrative that her favorability is in decline based on the problems inherit with the poll and story seems to be to be a bunch of spin.
Photo by Dave Davidson

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