Polling,  President 2012,  Sarah Palin

President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Sarah Palin Still a Formidable Presence Among Republicans

According to the latest Gallup Poll.

Sarah Palin — who has not yet announced whether she will run for president — remains a formidable presence among Republicans nationwide. She is almost universally recognized, and her current Positive Intensity Score ties her with Mitt Romney, trailing only Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.

A Newsweek cover story on the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate quoted Palin as saying, “I believe that I can win a national election,” and that she is still thinking about running.

Palin’s high 95% name recognition — the highest of any candidate or potential candidate Gallup is tracking — is one of her major political attributes. Her Positive Intensity Score, currently 15, has been in the 13 to 19 range throughout the year so far. This puts her behind Cain and Bachmann, but in roughly the same range as Romney. At the same time, Palin generates stronger emotions — both positive and negative — than Romney does. His Positive Intensity Score is based on the difference between the 18% of those who recognize him who have a strongly favorable opinion and the 3% who have a strongly unfavorable opinion. A significantly higher 25% of Republicans who recognize Palin have a strongly favorable opinion of her and a higher 9% have a strongly unfavorable opinion (Palin’s net Positive Intensity Score is 15 because of rounding when precise numbers are calculated).

Palin’s 25% strongly favorable rating is the highest of any candidate tested in the latest two-week average, from June 27-July 10, one percentage point ahead of Cain’s 24% and five points ahead of Bachmann’s 20%.

But, Sarah will have to do more than give interviews to Newsweek. She will have to run and run against Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney. At least two candidates are waiting for Sarah to fish or cut bait in this race: Rick Perry, and Rudy Giuliani.

I continue to doubt she will run and if she does, Palin will hope that Perry and Giuliani jump in as well.

Sarah will do well in a multi-way race in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

The GOP field to some degree is in a holding pattern, with candidates such as Palin, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani sitting on the sidelines while pondering their decisions on whether to officially get into the race. If any or all of these politicians do decide to run, the nature of Republicans’ sentiments about the candidates and whom they favor for their party’s nomination may change. At the moment, Cain and Bachmann generate the highest levels of enthusiasm among rank-and-file Republicans who recognize them, with Palin and Romney trailing them. Of the remaining announced candidates, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul do best, while Jon Huntsman, Gingrich, and Gary Johnson are lagging behind in terms of Positive Intensity.