For those who see Sarah Palin as a buffoonish rabble-rousing political pied-piper, especially those within her own political party, a recent Gallup poll will undoubtedly bolster the opinion. For those who see her as a more down-to-earth person of the people, the poll will most likely be used as support for that opinion as well. Regardless, the gist of the results of the poll indicate that those who favor Sarah Palin over other Republican candidates for the 2012 presidency are more likely as not to earn less money and be less educated than those who support declared candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
According to the poll, Romney supporters were more likely to hold a college degree as opposed to not (21-13 percent) and make more than $90,000 annually (21 percent) as opposed to $24,000 or less (9 percent). In comparison, Palin supporters were more likely to not have a college education (16 percent vs. 9 percent). Her backers were more likely to earn less than $24,000 per year (22 percent) and less likely to earn more than $90,000 (7 percent).
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s poll numbers reflected a more homogenous base: 17 percent college graduate, 19 percent noncollege graduate support; backers range from 16 percent earning less than $24,000 to 19 percent earning $90,000 or more. Huckabee enjoyed the greatest support from those making between $25,000 and $59,000 (22 percent).
The findings of the Gallup poll were based on a composite of three polls taken in February, March and April, and did not include Donald Trump (due to his not being part of the first poll). The conclusion: upscale Republicans favor Romney, while lower-scale Republicans favor Palin, with Huckabee gaining support rather evenly from various socio-economic levels.
Yet, of the three, only Romney has made a move toward running for president. He announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee on April 11. Palin has made several ambiguous comments about running (in the area of it being too early to commit), although some, like conservative political analyst Bill Kristol, believe she will not. Huckabee still maintains that he is as yet undecided as well.
Palin and Huckabee, not having to worry about name recognition and finances, also have jobs working for Fox News, positions they would have to give up should they decide to become candidates.
In the end, the Gallup poll seemed to indicate Romney will need to gather support within the more blue-collar, working class segment of the population. It seemed to be a problem during his 2008 presidential campaign as well. Palin has a credibility problem with the Republican establishment, as has been made evident by such notables as former first lady Barbara Bush and former White House political adviser Karl Rove.
Placing herself among tea party advocates also relegated her to a more fringe-type support base. Coming out on the side of real estate mogul Trump and his quest to unearth some kind of conspiracy and find evidence that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate was not authentic might have also set her even further out on the fringe from the perspective of mainstream Republicans.
Even with the age and earnings disparity, Palin still garners at least 10 percent of the Republican electorate when polled on who they would support for president in 2012. And as some of her more mean-spirited detractors will no doubt — and unfairly — point out, the poll only proves that Palin enjoys the support of a lot of poor, ill-educated Republicans.