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Is Palin pollin’ Iowa already?
Iowa voters are already getting phone calls about Sarah Palin, the Alaska governor and former GOP vice presidential nominee who became a household name during last year’s election, reports the Alaska blog The Mudflats. The blog posted an approximate transcript of the calls, in which an automated voice asked listeners poll questions:
I wanted to let you know that I just received an interesting phone call. It was an automated poll and it asked the following questions:
1. Do you have a favorable opinion of Sarah Palin?
2. Gov. Palin thinks A, B, C, D & E do you agree with Gov. Palin?
3. Do you feel it is important that Gov. Palin is reelected as Gov. of Alaska?
What do you make of that?
It is no surprise that some people are already interested in the next presidential campaign — or that there are already polls in the field. The list of potential candidates is long, and each of them will have some important decisions to make about their political futures well before 2012 draws near.
Notably, some of the governors whose names are mentioned as possible candidates will have to decide whether to run for reelection in 2010. Put Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal into that category with Palin. The three of them might find it awkward to run for reelection as governor with all of their state’s voters asking whether they still even want the job.
Then there’s South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who is term-limited and cannot run for reelection. Sanford was the first governor to loudly reject federal stimulus money that was appropriated for his state, but Jindal and Palin both followed suit.
It may seem obvious that the Palin poll would be commissioned and paid for by a committee connected to the Alaskan, but it isn’t.
This far out from an election, polling is very difficult, and anybody who is considering running for president might find the results of a poll about Palin more useful than a poll about themselves. If a recorded voice called you up and started asking whether you thought Pawlenty should run for reelection as governor, would you even know whom it was talking about?
Another reason not to read too much into this: automated, touch-tone phone polls are cheap and not considered very reliable. Whoever commissioned this poll must still be in the very early stages of a campaign. Once the live calls start, the race will have actually begun.