POLITICS

US-2012 President: 54% Obama (D), 39% Palin (R) (ABC/Post 12/9-12)

ABC News / Washington Post
12/9-12/10; 1,001 adults, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
ABC story, results, Post story, results

National

2012 President
54% Obama, 39% Palin
47% Obama, 31% Palin, 18% Bloomberg

Sarah Palin has played a prominent role in defining Republican Party politics this year but still faces sizable obstacles if she decides to run for president in 2012, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Six in 10 voters say they would not even consider voting for the former Alaska governor if she launches a White House bid, and she loses badly to President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 general election test.

Caribou may worry when they see Sarah Palin coming. Barack Obama, not so much.

The reason: 59 percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll flatly rule out voting for Palin for president -- substantially more than say there's no way they'd vote for Obama, or, for that matter, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. And Obama leads Palin by a wide margin in current vote preferences, factoring Bloomberg in or out.

It's too early in the 2012 presidential election cycle to make too much of the horse-race results in this poll, produced by Langer Research Associates for ABC News. But the numbers of Americans who say they wouldn't even consider voting for Palin -- and the even larger number who see her as unqualified for the presidency (67 percent in an ABC/Post poll in October) -- indicate serious obstacles in her path, even if not of the antlered variety.