Politico: Poll: D.C. elites down on Sarah Palin

She told you so.

Washington elites, it turns out, do look down their noses at Sarah Palin.

The former Alaska GOP governor has been saying it for more than two years now, and a new POLITICO poll released Wednesday suggests she’s right.

Just 11 percent of the D.C. elites surveyed said they believe Palin is qualified to be president, less than half of the general public — 23 percent — who believe the same. Eighty-six percent of Washington elites — roughly 9 out of 10 — think Palin is not qualified, compared with 64 percent of the general public.

In addition, 79 percent of Washington elites believe Palin is a “negative influence in national politics” while just 15 percent find her to be “a breath of fresh air.” Outside the nation’s capital, however, more than twice as many believe she has had a positive impact on politics, while 50 percent see her as a negative influence.

“Palin is a populist-oriented phenomenon drawn heavily from lower middle-class voters, but she also deliberately comes off as anti-intellectual and anti-Washington, so it is no surprise she does not play in the Beltway,” said Mark Penn, CEO of the polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, which conducted the survey for POLITICO. “Elites almost everywhere are turned off by her and some of the very things she does that attracts her core support.”

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Politico: Poll analysis: Public and D.C. elites agree: Prosecute Assange

By MARK PENN
December 15, 2010

One thing that’s emerged from these six months of polling is just how far removed our nation’s capital typically is from the rest of the country. This month alone, POLITICO’s “Power and the People” poll shows D.C. is divided from the rest of the country on issues of the economy (38 percent of D.C. elites think it’s on the right track, while only 26 percent of the general population agrees), congressional agenda (half of D.C. elites think deficit reduction should be top priority, but just 35% of adults say the same), and our president (57 percent of Beltway insiders plan to vote for him in 2012 versus only 37 percent of the rest of us.) It’s notable then that there’s one topic in which they’re distinctly in sync: Julian Assange and whether to go after him.

When asked if the founder of WikiLeaks should be prosecuted as a terrorist for publishing over 250,000 diplomatic cables, by 48 percent to 22 percent the sample of all Americans said yes compared to 49 percent of D.C. elites who agreed and 36 percent who disagreed. In other words, roughly the same percentages of both said Assange should face prosecution, though 30 percent of the general population remains undecided.

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