History will record that Sarah Palin’s presidential hopes ended the week of the Tucson shootings. Palin may not have been responsible for the tragedy (a point eloquently made by Dan Hodges), but her inept and confused response made her look unpresidential in the eyes of most Americans.
The latest polls confirm the damage that the affair has done to Palin’s standing. A poll of Republican members in the kingmaker state of New Hampshire put her in fourth place on 7 per cent, behind Mitt Romney (35 per cent), Ron Paul (11 per cent) and Tim Pawlenty (8 per cent). Meanwhile, in the Times (£), ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie suggests that Jeb Bush is now the most credible Republican candidate for 2012 and adds that “the sooner Mrs Palin is removed from the race, the sooner voters can have a good look at other candidates”.
Another recent survey by Public Policy Polling found that Texas would become a swing state if Palin was selected by the Republicans. While Mike Huckabee has a lead of 16 points over Barack Obama in the state and Mitt Romney has a lead of 7 points, Palin leads the president by just a single point in a hypothetical contest. The psephological reality is that there is now no chance of Palin winning the Republican nomination.