Nets Douse a Potential Palin Presidential Bid: Too ‘Divisive’ and ‘Polarizing’

The evening newscasts on Thursday night eagerly devoted time to fresh speculation, prompted by Sarah Palin’s upcoming bus trip from Washington, DC to New Hampshire, that she may jump into the presidential race, but they all made sure to point out her high negatives amongst non-Republicans, characterizing her as “divisive” and “polarizing” while raising concern she couldn’t beat President Obama.

“She's a divisive figure,” CBS’s Jan Crawford declared,” citing how “our latest polls show that a majority of Republican voters do view her positively, but, among all voters, only 26 percent do. So that gives Republicans some pause. They want someone that they think can beat President Obama.”

On NBC, Andrea Mitchell highlighted “a new tell-all book by a former Alaska aide” before noting the latest Gallup poll puts Palin just two points behind Mitt Romney among Republicans, “but a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Palin remains a polarizing figure -- adored by conservatives, solidly rejected by Democrats and most independents.”

ABC News political analyst Amy Walter asserted “she’s sort of hit her ceiling. There's very little room for her to grow or to change people's minds.” Reporter John Berman corroborated: “Indeed, in New Hampshire, only three percent of voters say she has the best chance of beating President Obama.”

Some excerpts from Thursday night, May 26, as collected by the MRC’s Brad Wilmouth:

ABC’s World News:

JOHN BERMAN: Palin is re-emerging after months of relative quiet after several other Republicans -- including Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels -- decided not to run. Polls currently have her second in the primary field. The problem for Palin? There might be little way to improve that.

AMY WALTER, ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: She’s sort of hit her ceiling. There's very little room for her to grow or to change people's minds.

BERMAN: Indeed, in New Hampshire, only three percent of voters say she has the best chance of beating President Obama.

CBS Evening News:

JAN CRAWFORD: So if she is thinking about running, this is really going to help her get out there among voters, help restore her image. And, you know, that took a real beating, even among conservatives, when she quit as Alaska's governor. And she's a divisive figure. Our latest polls show that a majority of Republican voters do view her positively, but, among all voters, only 26 percent do. So that gives Republicans some pause. They want someone that they think can beat President Obama.

NBC Nightly News:

ANDREA MITCHELL: The down side of running, more of this: a new tell-all book by a former Alaska aide.

FRANK BAILEY, AUTHOR OF BLIND ALLEGIANCE TO SARAH PALIN: She could not handle criticism. The smallest criticism would send her into a tailspin wasting entire days of state business.

MITCHELL: Today’s Gallup poll shows Palin only two points behind Mitt Romney among Republicans, but a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Palin remains a polarizing figure - adored by conservatives, solidly rejected by Democrats and most independents.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center