Obama Beats Palin in Poll Match-Up; Palin Says She'd be "Unconventional" Candidate

Sarah Palin waves as she arrives to speak at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Friday, April 9, 2010. AP

AP

President Obama would trounce Sarah Palin in a 2012 match-up, according to a Bloomberg National Poll released today.

Fifty-one percent of respondents in the poll said they would vote for Mr. Obama if the election were held today and Palin were his GOP challenger. Just 35 percent said they would vote for Palin. Another 10 percent said they wouldn't vote at all, and 4 percent were unsure.

Most Americans, 54 percent, said they viewed Palin unfavorably, while 38 percent said they viewed her favorably. By contrast, 53 percent said they view the president favorably, and 44 percent said they viewed him unfavorably. A recent CBS News poll showed nearly half of Americans viewed Palin unfavorably, and just 22 percent said she would be an effective president.

The former Alaska governor said in a recent interview she isn't going to close the door to an opportunity to run for president. She added, "Really, it isn't my call."

"It is the people of America, whether they would be ready for someone a bit unconventional, out of the box," Palin told the conservative news outlet Newsmax. "You know -- being used to taking on the establishment, on both sides of the aisle. Or if they want someone a little more conventional maybe more electable -- and that's who they would support."

The former Republican vice presidential candidate added that she is currently "very, very focused on the midterms."

Indeed, Palin on Monday endorsed nine more congressional candidates, including Republican Senate candidate John Raese, who is in a tight race in West Virginia against Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin. The other eight candidates were GOP House candidates Dan Benishek of Michigan; Keith Fimian of Virginia; Ruth McClung and Janet Contreras of Arizona; Ray McKinney of Georgia; Alan Nunnelee and Bill Marcy of Mississippi; and Morgan Philpot of Utah.

Palin's political action committee SarahPAC raised more than $1.2 million during the last quarter, the Associated Press reports. Disclosure reports show that Palin spent about $1 million during that time, much of it for consulting. She gave money to more than a dozen candidates, including to Senate hopefuls Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, Joe Miller of Alaska, Marco Rubio of Florida and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

While Palin may be focused on the midterms, she did not hold back criticism of the president in her interview with Newsmax. She blasted the president for making health care reform "the top priority of this administration when it was supposed to be about job creation, getting the economy back on the right track."

She added that she thinks the president is "quite naive" and "stubborn," and that "whoever it is who's pulling the strings" will not let the president embrace free market principles.

When it comes to Mr. Obama's plan to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire, Palin said, "What he is talking about is slamming us to the mat."

She added, "I think people aren't quite aware of what all is involved in this tax increase that's going to hit us. Congress didn't lift a finger before they left town... to do anything about extending the tax cuts."

The former governor also addressed foreign policy, remarking that a military option against Iran should be on the table should the country acquire a nuclear weapon.

If Iran were to accomplish that, it could "lead to an Armageddon" and a world war that could "decimate so much of this planet," she said.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Campaign 2010
Florida Senate Election 2010: Marco Rubio (R) vs. Kendrick Meek (D) vs. Charlie Crist (I)


Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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