Odd Stats on Sarah Palin

This week’s Newsweek had a lot of interesting things that piqued my interest – here’s one regarding Sarah Palin

In Jon Meacham’s article, he talks about Why Palin Matters to Obama – And To You.  Certainly Palin is a polarizing figure – there are a lot of people who love her and a lot of people that think she’s dangerous.  Meacham relates Palin’s following within the Republican party to that of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964.

But the part I found the most interesting were the numbers – at least poll numbers…  Here’s a quote from Meacham’s article:

“According to Gallup, Republicans are more likely to say they would seriously consider voting for Palin for president (65 percent) than to say she is qualified for the job (58 percent).”

So, what in the world can we make of this?!  If we analyze the numbers a bit more, we can see a couple of things…

One, of Republicans, there are some of them that would vote for Palin for President, even if they thought she wasn’t qualified for the job – at least 7% of Republicans.  It could be higher if there were some that thought she was qualified but wouldn’t consider voting for her…

And, probably of more interest, these people who might consider voting for an unqualified Palin must believe that the alternative – any Democratic nominee – would be a worse option…

I don’t know what previous polls have shown for these “qualified vs. unqualified” polls, but I’m willing to bet that most people believe that the nominees, Democrat or Republican, are qualified to be President.  And, it is likely that people vote for candidates that they do believe are qualified…

But the fact that there are at least 7% of Republicans that would consider voting for an unqualified Republican as opposed to a qualified Democrat is less about the candidate (Palin or anyone else…) and more, I think, about the polarized political environment America finds itself in.

Right now, Republicans think Democrats are out to ruin the country by taking it over.  Also, Democrats think Republicans are out to ruin the country purely to enrich themselves.   Both are wrong, but given the state of things right now, there’s no telling them that… 

To me, this seems to be what is driving these interesting numbers.  Regardless, Palin makes for good political theater…

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I currently serve as Vice President of Decision Science at CenturyLink. I've previously served as a leader in the Advanced Risk & Compliance Analytics (ARCA) practice at PwC and as Director of Data Science & Analytics Engineering at Areté Associates. I've served the public as Chair of the Thousand Oaks, CA Planning Commission. I have been married to my wife Stephanie since 1993, and we have a wonderful daughter Monroe. Learn more about me »

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