Tags: sarah | palin | obama | poll

Poll Shocker: Palin Within 1% of Obama

Tuesday, 08 Dec 2009 04:57 PM

By David A. Patten

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Riding a wave of positive publicity from her book tour, Sarah Palin's favorable rating has crept within just 1 percent of President Barack Obama's job approval rating, according to the latest polls by CNN and USA Today/Gallup.

The results suggest Palin has fixed the dent in her popularity ratings created this summer when she announced she was stepping down as governor of Alaska.

According to a CNN poll released Monday, 46 percent of voters now say they like Palin. That's the same level of popularity she enjoyed before she resigned the Alaska governorship.

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The same percentage of likely voters – 46 percent – say they don't like the former Alaska governor, a clear indication that she continues to be a polarizing figure. Not surprisingly, the breakdown is sharply along party lines: 80 percent of Republicans like Palin, while 70 percent of Democrats don't.

Pundits are attributing her rebound in the polls to a wave of popularity stemming from her new book, “Going Rogue.”

Although popularity polls and job approval polls differ, the results suggest that Palin is closing the gap on Obama.

On Monday, a USA Today/Gallup poll reported that only 47 percent of likely voters approve of the president's job performance.

Obama apparently has become as polarizing as Palin: Only 14 percent of GOP voters approve of the job Obama is doing in the White House. That compares to a job-approval rating of 83 percent for Obama among Democrats, the polls show.

The Los Angeles Times' Top of the Ticket blog commented Tuesday: "The very same polarization [seen with Palin] now holds true for Obama, the fresh fellow from the old Chicago Democratic machine who was supposed to bring hope and change to a nation tired of divisive politics and the harsh partisan tone of Washington."

One big worry for the president: Since November, his approval rating with independents has dropped 7 points, USA Today reports.

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