An update on yesterday's post in which I wrote that, as of last week at least, Sarah Palin was the Republican best positioned to emulate the Barack Obama's tactical model in the Republican nomination contest in 2012. That is, her base puts her into a position to draw big crowds that can be mined for small donations and re-solicited online at low cost.
How will Friday's resignation announcement affect Palin's popularity both overall and among the conservative Republicans who like her best? We will soon have survey data gauging initial reactions. Rasmussen promises an update on Palin's favorable rating at noon eastern time; Gallup says they will report results of a new survey at 4:00 p.m.
Meanwhile, two sources of data hint at a potential silver lining for the soon-to-be-ex Governor of Alaska. Yesterday, Personal Democracy Forum's Micah Sifry reported a sharp upward spike in Palin's Facebook friends.
Today, the Washington Post's Andre Vargas notes that Google searches for Palin have spiked to "their highest levels since the election." What's interesting about that, as Vargas points out, is what happens if you type "Sarah Palin" into a Google search. "[Y]ou will mostly see a Google ad for SarahPAC, her political action committee that is collecting e-mail addresses and donations."
Will that silver lining come at the price of a big hit in terms of the way moderate and independent leaning voters judge Palin? Will she continue to be as popular with conservative and evangelical Christian Republicans as surveys indicated a week ago? It will probably require a few weeks to know for sure, but we will get the first results very soon.
Update - Here are the results from the automated survey of 750 "likely Republican primary voters" conducted by Rasmussen Reports last night (and note that in yesterday's post, I overlooked that Pew did not ask about Mike Huckabee):
Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republican voters have a favorable opinion
of Palin, even after her decision to resign as governor of Alaska, with
45% whose view of her is very favorable. Palin trails Huckabee, who
unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
Huckabee is favored by 78%, with 41% who feel very favorably toward
Twenty-one percent (21%) have an unfavorable view of Palin, with nine percent (9%) very unfavorable. For Huckabee, unfavorables are 17%, including five percent (5%) very unfavorable.
Rasmussen also asked about vote preference and about the candidate that GOP voters would least prefer.
The report makes no reference to previous results for the same questions from a comparable sample of likely Republican primary voters. Keep in mind that the Rasmussen sample and methodology are both very different from those used to produce the Pew Research Center I cited yesterday, so comparisons across these polls are unwise.
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