Political professionals largely applauded Sarah Palin’s flight from office, saying it would give her time to lie low, hone her message, and build her brand. But so far the disappearing act hasn’t helped with voters. A new Gallup poll found Palin’s favorable rating at 40%, its lowest since her national debut as John McCain’s running mate. In another poll, likely Republican voters ranked her a distant third among potential 2012 nominees.
More damning, when asked who they’d least like to get the nomination, Palin came in second, just behind Tim Pawlenty. Palin certainly remains a political force, writes Holly Bailey of Newsweek. She has 930,000 Facebook followers, more than any of her 2012 rivals. But turning that into something meaningful will take a more coherent message. “To have a chance in 2012,” says Bailey, “Palin needs people to take her seriously.”