After the last six weeks of watching the Palin train cars derail one by one, in what can only be described as agonizing political slow motion, we've been waiting with curiosity to see what would happen when the latest Hays Research poll came out. The last poll numbers we had showed Palin's approval rating at 59.8% (sum of very favorable and favorable ratings) and her approval index (very favorable minus very unfavorable) at +14.
Bear in mind that at one point, before people started paying attention, her approval rating hovered a hair under 80% and her approval index was an unheard of +40. Let's take a look at what those numbers looked like last July before the nomination.
(whistles) No wonder the GOP was impressed. Little did they know about that "Alaskans not paying attention" part.
I'll cut Alaskans a little slack, though. We were coming off a bad relationship. Former governor Frank Murkowski was such a disaster, Palin cleaned up on the "anyone but Frank" vote. He was an incumbent who got slayed in the primaries with only 19% of the vote. We wanted anyone but Frank, and that's what we got. Be careful what you wish for, as the saying goes.
But her heretofore astronomical approval rating goes to illustrate a very important point. The idea of Sarah Palin got an 89% approval rating in this very red, very down-to-earth, very mavericky state. It's when we started learning about the real her that the bloom was off the rose. And now, by the look of things, the petals are dropping fast.
Here are the latest numbers from Hays research. Approval rating 55% and Approval index at +6. Ouch.
And that, my friends, is what a crash in progress looks like. And now we ask the question, "So when does the burning start, and where are the marshmallows?"
The graph you see is the reflection of six weeks that included three ethics complaints, a disastrous and inappropriate pick for Attorney General, a petulant "appointment war" with Senate Democrats, rejecting and then accepting and then still rejecting part of the stimulus money, asking a sitting US Senator to step down and then denying it, flying out of state for a right to life dinner party during the last 3 days of the legislative session, and a host of other things including airing family dirty laundry and smacking down a teenager in the national media. And let's not forget blaming bloggers for everything from ethics complaints to the rejection of her Attorney General pick... I could go on. Really, I could. Those were just the highlights.
Meanwhile, another Alaskan Republican woman in high office has been in the spotlight lately too. What happens when one of those go-getter feisty Alaskan political women has a sharp mind, a good work ethic, moderate political views, an ability to work with people, and acts like an adult? Check it out.
Yes, that would be a 76% approval rating for Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski (daughter of the loathed and previously mentioned ex-Governor Frank Murkowski), and an approval index of +27. Alaska may have a golden girl, but it's not the governor.
[Full survey results from Hays Research available HERE]