Poll: Obama leads Palin by 16 in 2012 test

President Obama would trounce former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) in a hypothetical match-up for the 2012 presidential election, a new poll found Tuesday. 

Obama leads Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate, by a 16-point margin, the Bloomberg News National Poll found.

Fifty-one percent of likely voters said they would vote to reelect Obama in a hypothetical match-up against Palin, who drew the support of 35 percent of likely voters.

Ten percent said they likely would not vote in an Obama-Palin contest, and 4 percent said they were not sure.

Palin has been a divisive figure in politics since exploding onto the scene in 2008. She remains one of her party's most potent personalities, but many in the Bloomberg survey have unfavorable views of her. 

The Bloomberg poll found that she has a 38 percent favorable rating and a 54 percent unfavorable rating. And nearly three out of five Americans — including 47 percent of Republicans — said they doubt whether Palin would be an effective president, according to the September "60 Minutes"/Vanity Fair poll

The former Alaskan governor's efforts to bolster a number of Republican candidates for office this cycle — many of them affiliated with the conservative, activist Tea Party movement — have allowed her to build up a base of support within the GOP for a potential run for higher office.

Palin herself has begun to push open the door further toward waging a challenge to Obama. She said in late September that she would run "in the name of service to the public" if no other adequate candidate were to step forward. 

"It isn't my call — it is the people of America, whether they would be ready for someone a bit unconventional, out of the box," Palin told the conservative magazine Newsmax this week.

The Bloomberg poll, conducted Oct. 7-10, has a 3.7 percent margin of error.

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