Is Michele Bachmann the new Sarah Palin?

Polls taken in April 2011 do not mean much in terms of the 2012 presidential election. One interesting early takeaway from an April 2011 poll, however, is that Sarah Palin’s poll numbers continue to drop among people who say they will vote in the Republican primary. The latest NBC News /Wall Street Journal poll of potential Republican voters showed Sarah Palin coming in fifth. The poll findings are as follows: Mitt Romney 21%; Mike Huckabee 17%; Donald Trump 17%; Newt Gingrich 11%; Sarah Palin 10%; Tim Pawlenty 6%; Michele Bachmann 5%; Rick Santorum 3%; and Haley Barbour 1%.

Palin’s poll numbers have steadily declined over the last two years. Back in November of last year, Palin was at 16%, well within striking distance of the nomination, tied with Mike Huckabee. At that time, leading the race was Mitt Romney at 19%; Newt Gingrich, received the support of 13% of those polled.

Looking just at the numbers, one could account for Palin’s poll numbers dropping with Donald Trump’s flirtation with making a run. However, since that last poll, a couple things have happened to Palin.

First and most importantly, she did not respond well after the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona. She stayed on the sidelines for too long and then when she decided to weigh in, it was about her and not the tragedy. Discussing Palin’s declining poll numbers, Mark McKinnon a Republican media strategist, said: “I suspect the bottom fell out over the Arizona shooting when Palin’s response seemed more political than sympathetic. Obama showed great leadership during the crisis and Palin showed none.”

As Palin’s poll numbers and visibility have decreased, another Republican woman’s poll numbers and visibility are on the rise. Although only polling at 5% support among probable Republican primary voters, Michele Bachmann is quickly becoming very popular in conservative circles, with much less baggage (and recognition) than Sarah Palin. The Chicago Tribune ran a half page article on Bachmann courting Iowan Republicans in its April 11, 2011, edition. That piece quoted Ed Fallor Jr., an Iowa Republican stating: “She has the it factor. There’s just something about her. She kind of grabs you.”

“She doesn’t sound like a politician to me. She seems like a woman who is speaking from her heart. As a conservative and as a mom, I like what she has to say,” said Iowan Tina Dicks.

Sounds like words that were used to describe another Republican woman from a state bordering Canada. 

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  • There's only so many votes to go around my friend-more than a couple paranoid/megalomaniac/lowest common denominator pandering/unqualified/maladroit candidates creates quite the conundrum for the far right wing voter.

  • I have heard about the "it factor" phenomena especially in Iowa. Then again Bachmann is good at delivering high energy rhetoric, but from a point of political accomplishments - the sum total of zero will become her baggage. Bachmann is just another cog in this phoney Tea Party as I have pointed out on my blog.

    Brian, I will agree that it is too early for determining favorites, but most on your list could not energize the GOP. Even Rommney has difficulties overcoming the Mormon Tag which would derail any realistic shot at winning. The GOP needs to stop the rhetoric and obstructionism - they are hurting themselves at this point. That saying "Talk is cheap" couldn't be any truer than it is right now with your list.

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