After the shooting, Plain released an online video in which she struck back at critics who chastised her for her heated political rhetoric, calling it a "blood libel" to link her in any way to the shooter's motives. At a time when many pundits and politicians were calling for a more civil discourse, Palin's struck a combative, defiant tone.
Obama responded to the tragedy with an almost opposite tone. On the same day Palin released her video, the President delivered a speech at a memorial service in Arizona in which he implored Americans to stand together and to not let the tragedy result in a fractious lame game.
The survey's results paint a stark picture of the contrasting opinions Americans have of these two political foes, and they indicate that Palin may have dug herself a deeper hole if she ultimately decides to pursue the presidency in 2012.
Obama's approval rating has spiked recently, especially in polls taken after his speech in Tucson. The same ABC-Washington Post poll found Obama's approval rating had matched its highest point in about a year, with 54% of Americans approving of his job performance compared to 43% disapproving.
Meanwhile, a large majority of Americans view Palin unfavorably. According to the latest TPM Poll Average, 51.7% of Americans view Palin unfavorably, versus just 37.2% who view her favorably.
And in a comparative metric, Obama has typically held wide leads in hypothetical head-to-head presidential matchups with Palin. The current TPM Poll Average shows Obama leading Palin 52.5% to 37.1%, with the gap growing wider over the past several months.
The ABC-Washington Post poll was conducted January 13-16 among 1,053 adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.5%.