And polling data backs it up.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republican voters say Alaska Governor Sarah Palin helped John McCain’s bid for the presidency, even as news reports surface that some McCain staffers think she was a liability.
Only 20% of GOP voters say Palin hurt the party’s ticket, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Six percent (6%) say she had no impact, and five percent (5%) are undecided.
Ninety-one percent (91%) of Republicans have a favorable view of Palin, including 65% who say their view is Very Favorable. Only eight percent (8%) have an unfavorable view of her, including three percent (3%) Very Unfavorable.
When asked to choose among some of the GOP’s top names for their choice for the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, 64% say Palin. The next closest contenders are two former governors and unsuccessful challengers for the presidential nomination this year—Mike Huckabee of Arkansas with 12% support and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts with 11%.
Three other sitting governors – Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Charlie Crist of Florida and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota – all pull low single-digit support.
These findings echo a survey earlier this week which found that Republicans were happier with their vice presidential candidate than with their presidential nominee. Seventy-one percent (71%) said McCain made the right choice by picking Palin as his running mate, while only 65% said the party picked the right nominee for president.
The GOP lost this election because McCain, as a candidate, exemplified perfectly the wrong direction the GOP in general has been on. McCain is not a conservative. He’s the sort of wishy-washy Republican who likes to pay lip service to conservative principle but who doesn’t back up those words with action.
The only reason McCain got as many votes as he did is because some people were voting for Palin, and some were simply voting against Obama. But enough in the conservative base weren’t willing to vote for McCain as the lesser of two evils on election day, and that cost him the White House.
Some would like to distract from that fact, and that’s why we’re seeing these attacks on Palin.