A majority of Americans believe that Sarah Palin is resigning as governor of Alaska not because it’s in the best interest of her state but because it will benefit her political career, a new CBS News poll finds.
Just 24 percent of those accept Palin’s explanation that she resigned because it was the right thing to do for Alaska. More than twice that percentage – 52 percent – cited her political ambition as the reason for her resignation. An additional 14 percent said they don’t know the reason.
Even Republicans are skeptical of the explanation, with a higher percentage saying Palin resigned for her political career (36 percent) than saying she did so for Alaska (31 percent).
Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed expect Palin to run for president in 2012, while 43 percent say she will not. If she runs, she’ll likely face widespread skepticism: As CBS News revealed Monday morning, just 22 percent say Palin has the ability to be an effective president. Sixty-five percent say she does not.
Less than one in four Americans – 23 percent – hold a favorable view of Palin. Thirty-seven percent hold an unfavorable view of the former Republican vice presidential nominee. Another 39 percent are undecided.
In November of last year, 37 percent of registered voters held a favorable view of Palin. While her unfavorable rating has held steady since November, the percentage of undecided voters has risen as her approval rating has fallen. Forty-five percent of Republicans now say they are undecided about Palin.
One recent Palin argument does seem to be resonating with the American people: Her criticism of the media. Forty-six percent say Palin gets harder media treatment than other politicians, while just seven percent say she gets easier treatment. Forty-four percent say she gets the same treatment as her peers.
During the campaign, however, an even larger percentage – 54 percent – said Palin was getting harder treatment from the media.
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 944 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone July 9-12, 2009. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.
This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.