Several national polls of Republican voters since the election last fall have shown Sarah Palin as the top choice of the party faithful to be the GOP's nominee for President in 2012. But a new national PPP poll finds that nominating Palin could be a death wish for the party, with Barack Obama leading Palin 55-35 in a hypothetical contest.
The key reason Palin would lose to Obama by so much is that even though she might be the top choice for a certain segment of voters within her party, there's also a number of Republicans who say they would vote for Obama if their party nominated Palin. The Alaska Governor leads Obama just 66-17 among GOP voters. By comparison, John McCain beat Obama 90-9 with the party faithful. So Palin would be losing a lot of ground even with the base if she was the nominee.
Obama leads 89-7 with Democrats and has a more narrow 46-42 advantage with independents.
Despite his strong overall victory last year Obama actually lost the white vote 55-43. But it appears he would shore up his standing with that demographic in a Palin contest, holding a 46-43 lead at this stage. He would dominate the black and Hispanic voters in such a contest, 88-9 and 74-21 respectively.
Obama's overall national approval rating is 55/37. 93% of Democrats but only 14% of Republicans express support for the job he's doing. PPP also finds slightly negative approval for Obama among independents, 41/50. This is a finding at odds with many national surveys but not inconsistent with PPP's state by state polls, which have found Obama's approval in the 40s among unaffiliated voters in states ranging from blue Delaware to purple North Carolina to red Texas.
Palin is viewed negatively by 50% of voters in the country with just 39% holding a positive opinion of her. 69% of Republicans have a favorable view of her, while only 11% of Democrats do.
Full results here.