Poll: Most Republicans don't want Palin to run for president

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is stealing the media spotlight as she flirts with a presidential run. Jan Crawford reports on the politics of Palin and the GOP presidential candidates.

CBS

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

Most Republicans do not want to see former Alaska governor Sarah Palin enter the presidential race, a new CBS News poll finds.

Fifty-four percent of Republican registered voters want Palin to stay out of the race, as do 50 percent of Tea Party supporters. Just 34 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Tea Party supporters want her to seek the Republican nomination. Overall, two-thirds of registered voters want Palin to stay out of the race.

Republicans are split on opinions of Palin overall: Thirty-seven percent have a favorable view, 36 percent have an unfavorable view, and 25 percent have no opinion. Her favorable rating among all voters, meanwhile, is just 21 percent, with 57 percent holding an unfavorable view.

CBS

The Republican presidential candidate with the highest net favorability rating among Republican voters is Mitt Romney, who has a 37 percent favorable rating and an 11 percent unfavorable rating. But despite Romney's relatively high profile, half say they don't know enough about him or have no opinion.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose criticism of GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to transform Medicare angered many Republicans, is the only GOP presidential candidate or potential candidate with a net negative favorable rating among Republicans; 24 percent of Republican voters view him favorably, while 34 percent view him unfavorably.

The survey suggests that many of the Republican candidates and potential candidates - including Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain - remain unknown to large majorities of Republicans and voters overall.

(At left, CBSNews.com Senior Political Reporter Brian Montopoli discusses the GOP field in the "The Drive.")

That can be attributed in large part to the fact that most voters have not begun to pay much attention to the race. Only 25 percent of registered voters and 29 percent of registered Republicans say they are paying a lot of attention at this point; roughly two in five are paying "some" attention. More than one third of voters say they are paying little or no attention to the race at this point.

Seven in ten registered Republicans want a nominee who would repeal the federal health care law, but only about half want one who supports changes to Medicare. Just one in ten want a nominee from the Tea Party movement, while 14 percent want one who is not from the movement; 73 percent say it doesn't matter.

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Read the complete poll (PDF)


This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,024 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone June 3-7, 2011. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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