In a recent poll, Sarah Palin was found to be the most polarizing potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate. She’s also one of the top picks for the Republican Party. According to the poll, conducted by the Associated Press, she is loved within the Republican Party, but of other Americans, 49 percent view her unfavorably, and 5 percent don’t know what to think about her.
Honestly, no one outside of Alaska had really heard of her before John McCain seemingly picked her out of nowhere to be his running mate. Now she’s everywhere.
Though many believe she’s the reason McCain lost the 2008 election, Palin was rocketed to superstar status. This leads to the question: Is Palin’s political success beneficial to America?
Her rank as the “most polarizing” member of the GOP begs to differ.
Palin is known for being as far right as they come, which may be one of the causes for polarization. She is endorsed by the tea party movement, showing where her political beliefs lie. During the midterm elections, she refused to endorse any candidate who was not first endorsed by the tea party. She refuses to back down from these beliefs, no matter how others may view them.
But if the GOP plans on having her be a front-runner in the next presidential election, then it may want to tweak her image a bit before having her run. While 45 percent of those polled like Palin, the greater percentage dislikes her, and there are still those who have yet to make up their minds. These are the people the GOP will most likely want to win over in the election. If she is to remain so polarizing, the party may face much difficulty winning this time around.
Her refusal to back down from her beliefs that are the epitome of conservative values not only causes the current polarization, but also may cause a problem if she runs. She is dangerous for the Republican Party because her beliefs are so extreme that they cause people to either not take her seriously or to be scared of the prospect of her in office.
Her popularity may be coming from the fact that after the election, she was all over the place. Palin is now a pundit on Fox News, and TLC is doing a series about her. Though she may be inescapable, which does cause her to gain some positive feedback and supporters, her staunch beliefs cause her to be seen as perhaps dangerous to the American political system.
Someone that extreme, if chosen as a presidential candidate, will more than likely cause the GOP to lose the White House yet again and further cause the party to lose support.
KC Aransen is a sophomore psychology major from Arlington.