If Sarah Palin still has any plans to run for president, now might be an ideal time to call them off.
A large majority of Americans already consider her unqualified. But now even a considerable plurality of Tea Partiers, her political epicenter, deem her unfit for the job, according to a national New York Times/CBS poll released Thursday.
Forty-seven percent of self-identified Tea Partiers say Palin is unqualified, while 40 percent deem her a good candidate for the office. Thirteen percent don’t know or are undecided, according to the survey.
They were responding to the question, “Do you think Sarah Palin would have the ability to be an effective President, or not?”
Palin quit her post as governor of Alaska mid-way through her first term and has since taken to the speaking and Tea Party circuit, earning conservative admirers across the nation. She has consistently demurred when asked about her intentions for 2012, leaving all options open.
The speculations began weeks after she was selected to be Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) vice presidential pick in 2008, and have since burgeoned as observers and pundits regularly note her massive popularity among the Tea Party base, a bastion of political energy for conservatives.
But as much as they like her, and as much as they enjoy watching her speak, this poll is one of many growing signs that they don’t quite consider her capable of being president.
Palin came in third in a straw poll of presidential candidates at this weekend’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference, garnering a mere 18 percent of the vote.
Politico‘s Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin interviewed many of the event’s attendees, concluding that the base loves Palin but thinks she isn’t apt for the Oval Office.
“I admire her for what she’s doing Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I don’t think sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s electable,” said Kathy Ross, a delegate from Arkansas. “I can’t see her being president of the United States.”
A CNN poll last October found that 7 in 10 Americans across the nation say Palin is unqualified for the highest office, a much larger figure than among Tea Partiers.