The Beltway "Common Wisdom" has been that as Sarah Palin's unfavorable ratings are consistently above 50% she would have little or no chance of ever succeeding in a presidential run. 50% appears to be the break point in this CW for all candidates. It is a fact that many times, even when a candidate has had a considerable lead in the polls over a rival but has been below the 50% mark in either percentage of the vote or unfavorable rating, then the top polling candidate has lost on election day.
With that as a guide there has been a perhaps significant development in Palin's recent polling, and most importantly the trend lines. The last time Palin's favorable ratings were more positive than her unfavorable was October 2008 reaching a nadir of 35/57 in August 2010. Since then there has been a significant recovery with Rasmussen in September showing a 48/49 result. The most significant thing is the trend line which for the first time since October 2008 has reversed direction as per the Pollster.com aggregate map below.
In fact, if we disregard the ridiculous CBS poll which had Palin at 23/40 with 20% undecided, 3% refused and an idiotic "Not heard enough" of 15% Palin's Favorables are 40.4% and Unfavorables are 50%.
Also significantly, if we look at the two latest September polls, we find that the undecideds have dropped strikingly from earlier polls-it appears that undecided are moving in Palin's favor and the average of the two latest polls is 46/49. If this trend continues it is only a matter of time before her positives are higher than negatives.
Why this move upwards? There are, as usual a number of factors for any polling change of direction. In Palin's case it may be that the negatives associated with her resignation have dissipated, the Vanity Fair hit piece may have been so over the top that it has finally elicited sympathy for Palin as regards the media's continuous negative portrayal of her, her perceived growing gravitas, and most probably her success in having her endorsed candidates-particularly Miller in Alaska, do so well.
In the head to head Obama Palin polling Palin is 8 points behind in the latest Politico poll which is a 9% improvement on her previous polling, and ballpark with the recent PPP poll which had her only 5 points behind.The next big test for Palin will be the result of the November elections. If her endorsed candidates do very well she will most likely have another uptick, probably into positive territory. If O'Donnell can pull off another upset win Palin will be under immense pressure, I believe, to declare a candidacy for the presidency.
FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE/ UNDECIDED/NOT HEARD ENOUGH
GWU/Politico (Lake/Tarrance) 9/19-22/10 1000 LV 44 49 - 2 5 -
Rasmussen 9/18-19/10 1500 LV 48 49 - 3 - -
Politico / Penn Schoen Berland 9/9-16/10 1668 A 41 50 - 9 - -
PPP (D) 9/10-13/10 590 RV 38 52 - 9 - -
Quinnipiac 8/31-9/7/10 1907 RV 31 50 - - 15 3
CBS News 8/20-24/10 1082 A 23 40 - 20 15 2 (Ridiculous!)
AP-GfK 8/11-16/10 1007 A 41 54 - 5 - 1
Politico / Penn Schoen Berland 8/6-11/10 1668 A 35 57 - 8 - -
PPP (D) 8/6-9/10 606 RV 37 54 - 9 - -
YouGov/Polimetrix 7/17-20/10 1000 A 37 51 - 12 - -