The Washington Times - September 2, 2011, 02:11PM

A new Rasmussen Reports shows that most voters — including Republicans — think it would be bad idea for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to jump into the presidential race.

Just 18 percent of voters think it would be good for Republicans if Mrs. Palin entered the race, while 60 percent say it would be bad for the party, according to the telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters.

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“Even most Republicans, 52 percent, believe it would be bad for the GOP if Palin threw her hat in the ring, a view shared by 74 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party,” the survey says. “Tea party members are almost evenly divided over the impact of a Palin run on the GOP, but non-members believe overwhelmingly that it would be bad.”

Previous Rasmussen Reports polls show President Obama does best in a head-to-head match-up with her in a general election.

The survey comes on the eve of her scheduled appearance at a tea party gathering in Iowa, where some believe she will toss her hat into the nomination ring.

Mrs. Palin became the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate after John McCain tapped her as his running mate, pulling her out of relative obscurity. She quickly became a national sensation and darling within conservative circles, where she remains a powerful political force, despite quitting the governorship before the end of her elected term.

A Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey released this week showed her strength, showing her running third among current and potential GOP candidates. However, it also had warning signs for a potential Palin bid, showing that Mr. Obama is leading the self-described “Mama Grizzly” by double-digits in a general election showdown. In addition, she carries a higher unfavorable rating than the top contenders in the race, feeding into her image as one of the more divisive figures in American politics.