In what might be considered something more suitable to the strange-but-true section of the news, a poll released Wednesday by Reuters/IPSOS reflects something not seen in the results of any other poll -- Sarah Palin leading all other Republican 2012 presidential contenders. According to the poll, the former governor of Alaska, who has yet to declare her candidacy, is actually ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who announced his candidacy in New Hampshire on June 2 and who leads most polls, including one released by Fox News.
Although the Fox News poll put Romney ahead of Palin by 11 points (and ahead of second-place Rudy Giuliani by 10 percent), 23 percent to 12 percent, the Reuters poll placed Palin two points ahead of Romney at 22 percent to 20.
What makes Palin's lead in the poll strange is that the poll was conducted over the past weekend -- after she made the Paul Revere gaffe. The poll was taken from Friday to Monday. Palin made the gaffe on Friday and then made things worse by telling Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday that she wasn't wrong with her statement that Paul Revere warned the British. She then attempted to convince a clearly amused Wallace (and the viewing audience) that the famed American colonial revolutionary and Boston silversmith rode through the streets of Boston warning both the colonists and the British that the British were on their way to take away their guns and freedom.
Perhaps voting members of the GOP do not care that their elected officials are ignorant of rudimentary American history (which Palin insisted to Wallace that she knows). But even if one were to allow for historical ignorance, it could well be asked what part of Palin's resume appeals to the conservative voter when she has shown that her greatest political attribute is her ability to spout meaningless talking points and platitudes as a fundraiser.
But perhaps the numbers were a reflection that Palin's remarks hadn't had time to sink in with the Republican electorate. The Fox News Poll was conducted starting the day the Reuters poll concluded and the day after Palin insisted that her version of Revere's ride was accurate.
And the Fox poll showed she was 11 percentage points behind the leader and 1 point behind another undeclared potential candidate...
Of course, with the margin of error, which was +/- 3 percent, Palin actually could assume the same second-place position in the Reuters/IPSOS Poll she has held in most polls since Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump both withdrew from GOP presidential consideration in mid-May.
Regardless, Palin's continued strong presence in the polls indicates that she will continue to be a powerful force within the Republican Party -- whether she decides to run for president or not.