Sarah Palin: America's Sweetheart No More?

Sarah Palin’s standing with the American public has undergone a stunning reversal of fortune, according to two recently released polls.

Just two and a half years ago, Sarah Palin’s star was ascending to the political heavens. A solid 53% of Americans held a favorable opinion of Mrs. Palin, while only 28% had a negative view.

But according to a March 3 Bloomberg News poll, only 28% of Americans now hold a positive view of the former Alaska governor, while a stunning 60% see her in an unfavorable light.

And a March 16 Washington Post-ABC poll found Palin’s negative ratings fell to a nadir of 37% among Republicans and right-leaning independents.

How do we explain this stunning reversal for the immensely ambitious political wunderkind?

Following John McCain’s surprise selection of Palin on August 29, 2008, and her well-received acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, she notched an impressive favorability rating of 53% as a virtual political unknown (all figures I cite are from the Gallup poll, unless otherwise noted).

But as the campaign jolted toward the November election, stories began to circulate about a simmering discord between the McCain and Palin campaign staffs. “She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” complained a top McCain adviser just days before the election. “Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party.”

Following the GOP’s sweeping losses on November 4, Palin’s favorability ratings still registered 48% -- a respectable number, considering the predictable miscues of the grueling campaign.

Soon shaking off the post-election blues, Palin’s first move was to establish SarahPAC, which would eventually raise $1 million for conservative candidates around the country. Throughout 2009, Palin’s favorability ratings cruised along in the acceptable low to mid 40s range.

Palin’s heralded book Going Rogue came out on November 17. Even though the autobiography would eventually sell over 2 million copies, it also raised questions about the former candidate’s conservative credentials -- even her character.

Going Rogue highlights Palin’s endorsement of the controversial Title IX quota program. It reveals her predilection for gender-baiting clichés like “I’ve been living in a man’s world all my life.”