According the the latest PPP poll analysing various presidential match ups-Obama versus the leading potential Republican candidates, Sarah Palin is only 6 points behind President Obama at this point trailing 49% to 43%.
This is surely a very reasonable result this far out for an undeclared candidate against a sitting president-it only taking a shift of 3 points for each to have them in a tie. It is important for Palin supporters to keep in mind the historical situation and not to get too down on current polling-as things are she is well placed to "Do a Reagan"
At first sight Palin's favorable/unfavorable rating does not look all that inspiring, being 38% favorable to 52% unfavorable with 9% undecided.
However let's look at the rating of Ronald Reagan in February of 1980, the year of the election. He was also at 38% favorable and was at 46% unfavorable with 16% undecided, and of course he went on to win the election in November in a landslide 50.7% to Carter's 41% winning 489 electoral votes of 44 states to Carter's 49 electoral votes from 6 states.
The latest Rasmussen survey puts Palin in an even more advantageous position relative to where Reagan was at his polling low point closer to his election year.
At 48% favorable to 49% unfavorable Palin is 10 points ahead of Reagan's ratings and of course only three points below the very important +50% point. This latest polling shows Palin gaining 3 points since the last poll in November 2009.
For further inspiration consider the poor position of then Vice-President George H.W. Bush in his campaign against Michael Dukakis in 1988.
In July of that election year Bush was polling only 37% to Dukakis' seemingly insurmountable 54%. Bush went on to win convincingly, taking 426 electoral votes from 40 states and 53.4% of the vote, to Dukakis' 11 electoral votes from 10 states+DC and 45.7% of the vote.
If we note that Palin's favorables are the same as Reagan's in one survey and 10 points ahead in the latest, with over two years until the next election, then we can see that she obviously has plenty of time to get her favorable/unfavorable ratings into the positive, and to have a result in 2012 similar to what Reagan achieved.
Her path to winning the presidential election, which is eminently achievable, is set out in this analysis.