Last week we commented on a strange conundrum: even though Sarah Palin's favorability numbers had improved only from 39/50 to 41/50 between March and December, her deficit against Barack Obama in a head to head contest had shrunk from 55-35 to 50-44.
Looking inside the numbers it's easy to see where that shift has happened. In March Palin led Obama only 72-18 among voters with a favorable opinion of her. Now she has a 92-4 lead with those folks.
Previously there were a lot of people who liked Palin but wouldn't commit to voting her for President- that reticence has now gone away.
That probably has a lot more to do with the rapidly increasing Republican hatred for Barack Obama over the course of 2009 than it does with people thinking more that Palin is qualified to be President but the reason for the shift doesn't change this basic conclusion: Sarah Palin's fans are taking her more seriously as a potential 2012 Presidential candidate now than they were at the start of the year. We wrote a fair amount during the first part of 2009 about how one of the big things Palin was going to have to overcome was people who liked her but didn't think she was fit for the White House and that's not as much of a problem anymore.
That said, I'd up her chances of ever being President from maybe 5% at the start of 2009 to 10% now. She still has half of the country disliking her with their minds pretty much made up, and that's going to be tough to overcome.