When it comes to the 2012 Presidential election, Republican voters might be their own worst enemies.
That's because Sarah Palin continues to be by far the most popular candidate with the party's base. 72% have a favorable opinion of her, compared to just 56% for Mike Huckabee and 54% for Mitt Romney.
The problem is that she's also the least popular candidate with Democrats and independents. 79% of Democrats have an unfavorable opinion of her compared to 48% for Romney and 42% for Huckabee. If the GOP nominated her it would basically cut off the possibility of any crossover support, whereas there are at least still a lot of open minds when it comes to the party's other leading hopefuls.
It's a similar story with independents. 48% have a negative opinion of Palin to 28% for Romney and 27% for Huckabee.
It was also interesting to note in the poll results that while Romney and Huckabee both held Obama under 50%, and even Tim Pawlenty kept him right at 50%, his best share of the vote was 52% when matched against Palin.
It might feel good in January or February of 2012 for Republicans to nominate Palin, but it doesn't look like it would feel too good come November.
Another interesting thing to watch on the Palin front moving forward: would she run as a third party conservative alternative if someone too moderate for her tastes was nominated in 2012? It doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility after her NY-23 endorsement.