John over at Power Line asked and answered that question in a post yesterday, using a CNN/Opinion Dynamics poll as his peg to argue that Palin’s presidential aspirations are finished.
No one with a 59 percent unfavorability rating among independents has the chance of a snowball in Hell of being elected President. 2012 will be a vitally important election year; it is no time for a kamikaze Presidential campaign or for a cult of personality. Republicans (and conservatives) need a candidate who has a chance to win against an incumbent who, despite everything, is not particularly unpopular and who won’t be able to do much visible damage between now and then.
The Examiner’s Mark Tapscott weighs in as well, arguing that Palin’s current poll troubles have more to do with her overexposure than the public actually souring on her. I think Tapscott is right on that point, which leads me to conclude that John is wrong. One poll 18 months out does not kill off a candidate. And that CNN poll should be set beside this one done by James Carville’s outfit, which shows Palin within 10 points of Obama without even being an official candidate. She has room to grow and has 18 months to do it. Eighteen months is an eternity in politics; Obama was riding high 18 months before the 2010 midterms. We all know how that turned out. None of this is to say that I’m in the Palin camp. I’m not; I haven’t picked a candidate yet. I just think it’s too early to write off a force like Sarah.
Update: See also James Taranto’s Palinoia, the Destroyer. It’s not a Godzilla villain. It’s the left’s default attitude.