Sarah Palin's former running-mate, Senator John McCain, told Fox News Sunday that Sarah Palin would have no problem gaining popularity in the polls after she started an official election campaign. "I've never seen anyone as mercilessly and relentlessly attacked as I've seen Sarah Palin in the last couple of years. But she also inspires great passion, particularly among the Republican faithful," McCain said. While another Palin/John McCain ticket is extremely unlikely, McCain's support could be crucial in getting people to take Palin seriously as a candidate.
One major criticism of Sarah Palin is that she has the highest unfavorability numbers of any other candidate. Although she has many fans, there are large numbers of people who say they would never vote for her. In the May 4 Quinnipiac University poll, Palin's "would never vote" numbers were at 58 percent, compared to 26 percent for Mitt Romney. Both candidates' "enthusiasm" ratings, however, were tied for first place among Republicans at 15 percent.
Palin began her bus tour of the Northeast on Sunday to test the waters for a potential run. She already has a strong base of the American people following her on Facebook, a platform which served Obama extremely well in 2008. If Palin can also get highly influential Republicans like McCain to take her seriously as a candidate, this could propel her chances of winning the Republican nomination far beyond the vanilla candidates such as Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.