Commentary Magazine


Gallup’s Implications for Bachmann and Palin

One key takeaway from the new Gallup poll is Michele Bachmann’s momentum may have officially run out. After peaking at 13 percent in July, she’s now back down at 10 percent. This follows yesterday’s Iowa poll, which also showed her losing steam. Even Ron Paul is edging her out at 13 percent; he, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry were the only three candidates who gained support during the last month.

The poll also found Sarah Palin wouldn’t significantly shake up the race if she entered. In a race that includes both Palin and Rudy Giuliani, the former vice presidential candidate would tie Ron Paul at third place with 11 percent. Perry would still lead with 25 percent, followed by Romney with 14 percent.

At RedState, Erick Erickson writes that Palin’s dithering has probably already damaged her standing:

First, I think we are coming to the end of the line for Sarah Palin’s ability to string the Republican primary voters along. They are trying to settle on a candidate now, they’ve held out hope of her entry, and are now ready for her to put up or shut up. Many of them have already moved on.

Second, I think Palin could get back a number of voters should she get into the race — people who gave up on her running and moved on to someone else. But, I do not think it would put her in a strong enough position to get into first or second place.

That seems to be supported by the poll. It’s possible Palin’s numbers are so low right now because her supporters don’t expect her to run. But if she enters and her numbers remain low it could undermine her reputation as one of the top leaders in the conservative movement. That’s the risk she’ll have to weigh if she’s still considering a campaign.