Sarah Palin Demurs on 2012 Presidential Bid, Exit Polls Show McCain Help

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sarah Palin Demurs on 2012 Presidential Bid, Exit Polls Show McCain Help

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 5
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Sarah Palin become an overnight rock star on the conservative side of the political spectrum and motivated pro-life voters who were anemic in their support of John McCain. Hours after McCain’s election loss, the Alaska governor demurred on her own potential presidential bid in 2012.

Palin, who energized the pro-life movement when McCain named her as his vice-presidential running mate, is credited with rebounding the McCain campaign shortly before the economic crisis sank it.

Just hours after McCain conceded defeat to Barack Obama, CNN reporter Dana Bash caught up with the governor to ask her about the chance of a candidacy in 2012.

Palin answered the question diplomatically, saying she can’t imagine what the future holds in a potential election four years from now.

"Right now I cannot even imagine running for national office in 2012," she told CNN’s Bash. "When I say that, of course, coming on the heels of an outcome that I did not anticipate and had not hoped for. But this being a chapter now that is closed and realizing that it is a time to unite and all Americans need to get together and help with this new administration being ushered in."

Palin said "2012 sounds so far off that can’t even imagine what I’d be doing then."

Alaska voters will vote again for governor in 2010, so Palin would likely have to mount a re-election bid and retain her position as the head of the state government in order to mount a presidential campaign against Obama then.

The governor also told CNN that she doesn’t think her status as McCain’s running mate cost him the election — saying voters made their choice on economic issues.

"I don’t think anybody should give Sarah Palin that much credit, that I would trump an economic time in this nation that occurred about two months ago, that my presence on the ticket would trump the economic crisis that America found itself in a couple of months ago and attribute John McCain’s loss to me," she said.

"Now having said that, if I cost John McCain even one vote, I am sorry about that because John McCain, I believe, is the American hero. I had believed it was his time," she added.

To hear political pundits describe it, Sarah Palin either sank John McCain’s presidential bid or gave him a shot in the arm that made it possible for him to catch Barack Obama in an otherwise difficult political climate.

Exit polls show Palin appeared to help McCain by energizing the pro-life Republican base and were motivated by her selection to support him.

Some 60 percent of voters said Palin was a factor when making their vote and they split for McCain over Obama on a 56-43 percentage point margin.

The 33 percent of voters who said Palin made no difference when thinking about which candidate to support backed Obama 64-33 percent.

Another 60 percent said Palin wasn’t qualified to become president, but Palin would have four years to convince voters she is more qualified to serve and possibly four more years under her belt as governor.

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