I warned people previously about succumbing to the Abilene Paradox regarding Sarah Palin and electability. Of course, a great many have done just that. But the tables may be turning. A new poll has Sarah Palin trailing Barack Obama by a mere 5 points, with Obama under 50 percent. And she isn’t even a candidate, yet. That same poll has Rick Perry trailing Obama by 9 points, with Obama at 50 percent.
The Palin fans on Twitter were nudging me to post this before I’d even seen it. Now I understand why. Might be the best poll she’s had since the ’08 election.
After trailing Obama by more than 20 percentage points in polls all year, the new national survey, taken Sept. 13-14, found Palin trailing the president by just 5 points, 49-44 percent. The key reason: She now leads Obama among independents, a sharp turnaround…
By a margin of 49 percent to 36 percent, voters said they definitely plan to vote against Obama, according to the poll. Independents by 53 percent to 28 percent said they definitely plan to vote against him…
Back in March, 1980, another Republican was likewise “unelectable” — until he wasn’t. Steven Hayward has the histo-facts Democrats, mainstream media (but I repeat myself), and the Republican establishment don’t want anyone to know (or remember, for those of us old enough):
Then, as now, the conventional wisdom of the media is that the GOP would surely blow its chance of taking down Carter if it nominated an “extremist” candidate like Reagan. A moderate was the way to go. The media loved John Anderson in 1980, just as they love Jon Huntsman today. Here’s how Time magazine analyzed it in March of 1980:
National opinion polls continue to show Carter leading Reagan by an apparently comfortable margin of about 25%. They also show that more moderate Republicans like Ford would run better against the President. This suggests that Reagan is not the strongest G.O.P. choice for the November election and that he clearly faces an uphill battle. . .
Reagan trailed Carter by 25 points 8 months before the election. And the mainstream media and Democrats and Republican establishment wanted a more squishy Republican candidate to run against Carter, claiming Reagan was unelectable and too extremist. We are still more than 13 months away, and mainstream media and Democrats and Republican establishment want a more squishy Republican candidate to run against Obama, claiming Palin is unelectable and too extremist.
Here is why I believe Sarah Palin’s poll numbers are rising sharply:
On the Democrat side
Barack Obama’s poll numbers are abysmal and falling.
Obama is stridently clinging to Democrat positions which are clearly outside the voters’ positions.
Obama’s “jobs” bill, which was intended solely to paint the Republicans in a bad light, has instead turned Democrats off.
The Solyndra, LightSquared, and Fast and Furious scandals are “coming home to roost.”
Obama’s “AttackWatch” crapola is Godwin’s Law-ing itself.
On the Republican side
Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul are non-starters for the Conservative base. Period.
Michele Bachmann has been rather gaffe-tastic of late.
Rick Perry has crony capitalism, government mandate, illegal immigration issues.
On Sarah Palin herself
As more and more, the announced Republican candidates get vetted, people are finding they have issues, and are taking another look at Palin.
The Democrats and mainstream media (but I repeat myself) and Republican establishment have been going after her tooth and nail, with the Democrats and mainstream media using all manner of smear tactics, since 2008. Their ammo pouch is basically empty.
Absolute nutball fringe Left (Andrew Sullivan, Joe McGinniss, Daily Kos, Keith Olbermann, etc) have been constantly over-playing the “attack Palin” card, and it’s starting to backfire on them.
Joe McGinniss goes so far beyond the pale that even Keith Olbermann has to publicly side with Palin.
Convicted rapist Mike Tyson goes on a screed tying violent rape and Sarah Palin together in a wholly disgusting display — on the radio. And a supposedly sound Conservative blogsite gets in deep water over its inappropriate manner in publicizing it.
As the arguably insane radical fringe Left spew their grotesquely outrageous overreach smears against Palin, it causes a backlash producing the exact opposite of their desires. And the merely fringe Left’s merely extreme overreach smears against Palin has more backlash producing more of the opposite of their desires. And the just plain Left and mainstream media (but I repeat myself) and their regular old overreach in their smear campaigns get more backlash because of all the crazies coming out of the woodwork. It’s a snowball effect. And the power of the media to destroy Palin gets wiped out.
Once people stop paying attention to the rubbish and start supporting Palin, others see the improvement in the polls and give up on their Abilene Paradox and support the candidate that best exemplifies their own positions and Palin’s numbers improve yet again. And the previously unelectable suddenly becomes electable. And she isn’t even a candidate, yet.
Let’s hope the radical Left continues with its overreach until election day, shall we?