Sarah Palin still an American political heavyweight

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New York, Nov 24(ANI): Recent polls and political analysis have suggested that former U.S. Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is still a political heavyweight.

According to the Des Moines Register's Iowa poll, as many as 68 percent of Iowa Republicans view Palin favorably. She also ranked higher than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who won 66 percent of Iowa Republicans' approval.

Palin also beat out former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who is viewed favorably by 58 percent of the state's GOP voters.

Meanwhile, 55 percent of all Iowa residents, including Democrats, hold an unfavorable opinion of Palin, and eight percent said that they were unsure about her, the poll added.

Palin's popularity numbers have also edged up in the national polls in recent months, to the point where they were nearly equal to U.S. President Barack Obama's. It is believed that her recent book tour may have boosted her popularity.

"After last week, it's impossible to argue about Palin's influence in the party. She can draw big crowds, sell books and command the biggest media stages... Whether they admit it or not, all establishment Republicans wonder about what Palin has planned for 2010 and 2012," Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post wrote.

While Palin is perceived to represent the Republican party, a local GOP chairman said that after her recent visit to Roanoke, she has drew many non-Republicans to her book signing.

"She brings out a different crowd. She taps into something that the Republican Party really needs to tap into," Salem Republican Party Chairman Greg Habeeb said. (ANI)

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