Donald Trump (Photo: Gage Skidmore) and Sarah Palin (Photo: David Shankbone) Not that most of the folks that read this article ever needed to be convinced, but the polling crew at Quinnipiac are the latest to confirm how completely and totally unelectable either of the people pictured to the right are in a general election against Barack Obama. They also confirm another hardening bit of conventional wisdom of the 2012 election: the GOP’s field of contenders is pretty damned weak. Quinnipiac University (4/26-5/1, Registered Voters) (Percent of voters who would “never vote” for the candidate in question) Sarah Palin (R) 58 Donald Trump (R) 58 Newt Gingrich (R) 42 Mike Huckabee (R) 32 Michelle Bachmann (R) 29 Ron Paul (R) 27 Mitt Romney (R) 26 Lest you think that Americans don’t find Bachmann or Paul sufficiently batshit crazy, their relatively low “not in a million years” numbers are more attributable to the fact that they are lesser known. Only 35% say that they would either be “enthusiastic” about voting for Paul, or would even consider doing it. Just 27% say the same thing about Bachmann. The plurality response for each of them is a collective shrug. The same, however, cannot be said for the dynamic duo of Trump and Palin. They start the 2012 election cycle with nearly three-fifths of the electorate already signalling their intention to not vote for them. That kind of certainty, this early, is telling. Why do Palin and Trump’s numbers matter, you might ask? Because even as they are something of a punchline with the majority of the electorate, they are still, stunningly, relevant in the pending Republican primary: Republican primary vote preferences (Nov 2010 results in parentheses) Mitt Romney 18 (18) Sarah Palin 15 (19) Mike Huckabee 15 (17) Donald Trump 12 (–) Mitch Daniels 5 (2) Ron Paul 5 (–) Newt Gingrich 5 (15) Tim Pawlenty 4 (6) Michelle Bachmann 4 (–) The two least electable Republicans are right there, smack dab in the first tier of candidates. This mimics other recent polling, all showing Palin and Trump as viable in the GOP primary, but staggeringly weak in a general election scenario. But for the GOP, there is a deeper issue. Few folks are fired up about the GOP field. The Quinnipiac matrix for the issue of voter intent was to ask whether a voter was (a) enthusiastic about voting for a candidate; (b) willing to consider voting for a particular candidate; or (c) already confirming that they would not vote for a particular candidate. Not a single candidate for the GOP could get over 15% of the electorate describing themselves as “enthusiastic” about their vote. And only Mitt Romney could get to a majority of voters willing to support their candidacy, either enthusiastically or by merely “considering” to vote for them. This is an election that Obama needs to win on more than just the lack of merits of his opposition. But he is blessed with a field that is either unknown or unloved. This Quinnipiac poll is merely the latest in an ever-growing pile of evidence to this end.
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2012: Q poll confirms Trump/Palin train wreck, weakness of GOP field at-large