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Editor’s note: This is another in a series of “WND/WENZEL POLLS” conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

Former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said that the 2012 run for the Oval Office will be an out-of-the-box event. But just what did she mean?

Voters eventually will find out, presumably. But just in case her “out-of-the-box” reference means something as surprising as challenging Barack Obama in a Democratic Party primary, Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies included the scenario in his newest poll on the coming election.

The telephone survey was conducted Sept. 23-27 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2.91 percentage points.

The results were startling.

“Just 3 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of independents said they planned to vote in their state’s Democratic Party primary or caucus,” explained Wenzel, “but if you add Sarah Palin to the equation, something interesting occurs. Asked whether they would participate in the Democratic Party’s primary or caucus in their state if Sarah Palin were to enter the Democratic Party’s race for the presidential nomination against Obama, the numbers increased substantially. Republican participation jumped from 3 percent to 22 percent, and independent voter participation jumped from 17 percent to 31 percent.”

He said in a head-to-head matchup among Democratic Party voters, Palin still draws support away from Obama.

“The prospective race is particularly interesting among independents, with Obama winning 50-percent support compared to 46-percent support for Palin,” he said.

He called Palin “an enigma” during this presidential election cycle for her “campaign” trips that aren’t campaign trips and her vague references to the “out-of-the-box” election.

“Because it is unknown and perhaps very unlikely that Palin would run for the Democratic Party nomination, this survey data mainly points to the dramatic weakness of Obama even among voters that should be his political base of support. Even among progressives, Obama only wins 74 percent support, perhaps an expression of anger at Obama for what the left has seen as his failures to accomplish their agenda,” Wenzel said.

He asked, “If Sarah Palin were to register as a Democrat and run against Barack Obama for the party’s nomination for president in your state’s primary election or caucus, would you participate in that election or caucus, even if it required you to temporarily change your voter registration to participate in the Democratic election?”

One in five Republicans would change their registration to participate, as would nearly one in three independents.

He also asked, “If the race for the Democratic Party nomination was today and the candidates were Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, for whom would you vote?”

Some 84 percent of the Democrats said definitely for Obama, and nearly 8 percent said definitely for Palin. On point were the results from independents, where 45 percent said they would vote for Obama and 41 percent said for Palin – in the Democratic primary.

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Read the results of the poll questions:

If Sarah Plain were to register as a Democrat and run against Barack Obama for the party’s nomination for president in your state’s primary election or caucus, would you participate in that election or caucus, even if it required you to temporarily change your voter registration to participate in the Democratic election?

If the race for the Democratic Party nomination was today and the candidates were Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, for whom would you vote?”


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