The First Minister insisted her "concern" was achieving an SNP victory north of the Border as she mounted a desperate tour of key marginal seats in Edinburgh where her party could face defeat in next week's general election.
She also dismissed suggestions it was "game on" for a Left-wing pact with Labour despite the polls narrowing with less than seven days to go until polling stations opening.
Nicola Sturgeon failed to accept that her independence demands has caused a slump in her popularity
It came as it emerged George Kerevan, the SNP incumbent for East Lothian, had taken out an advert in a local paper declaring "the election is not about independence".
Mr Kerevan's claim comes just days after Ms Sturgeon launched the SNP manifesto, which argued that the Nationalists winning more than half of Scotland's 59 seats would create a "triple lock" to deliver a second referendum.
Her obsession with a divisive second independence referendum has infuriated the majority of Scots
Yesterday, as bookmakers Ladbrokes said odds pointed to her party losing up to seven seats, rivals branded Mr Kerevan's advert a "desperate attempt" to dupe voters.
An Ipsos MORI poll on Wednesday revealed Ms Sturgeon's personal approval rating has nosedived and she is now the least popular of Holyrood's leaders.
Although the SNP are firmly on course to win the most seats north of the Border, the survey also found that support for independence has dropped to 47 per cent, down from 50 per cent.
Ms Sturgeon was accused of being ‘in denial’ as she insisted her concern was winning the election
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Speaking as she campaigned alongside candidate Joanna Cherry in Edinburgh South West, Ms Sturgeon said voters in Scotland could be in a "pivotal position" next Thursday after another poll yesterda suggested the Tory lead over Labour across the UK has been reduced to just three points.
But questioned by journalists at the Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre she could not explain her own slump popularity.
Asked is she was "surprised or disappointed" by the Ipsos MORI survey she replied: "We are in an election campaign, what matters to me is that the SNP wins this election and the SNP are the best part of 20 points ahead of our nearest rivals."
Nicola Sturgeon's comical moments on the campaign trail Mon, May 22, 2017 PA 1 of 13
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon stops for an ice cream after making an election campaign visit to Scottish Gas HQ in Granton, Edinburgh
Pressed again she said her "concern" was an SNP victory and asked if her referendum demands were to blame she replied: "Look, I'm focused on the SNP winning the election.
"As long as the SNP stays ahead and we win this election that is what I'm focused on."
She also urged voters "not throw Theresa May a lifeline" and dismissed suggestions it was "game on" for a "progressive alliance" that could hand Mr Corbyn the keys to Number 10.
Ms Sturgeon also would not be drawn on the Left-winger's apparent offer of talks over another referendum.
The First Minister also dismissed suggestions it was ‘game on’ for a Left-wing pact with Labour
She added: My judgement of looking at the polls just now is that the Tories are still on course to win the election based on the vote in England.
"But I don't think it is any longer absolutely inevitable that she will increase her majority and Scotland could have a really significant impact on whether she increases her majority or not."
Scottish Labour general election campaign manager James Kelly said: “Nicola Sturgeon is clearly in denial.
A recent poll revealed Ms Sturgeon’s personal approval rating has nosedived
"Her obsession with a divisive second independence referendum has infuriated the majority of Scots who want to move on from the arguments of the past.
"Our health and education services are in crisis and voters are clearly telling Nicola Sturgeon she needs to get back to the day job."
Scottish Tory candidate for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, John Lamont, added: "The threat of another divisive referendum on independence is the number one concern of people right across the country.
"Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to take this off the table has clearly damaged her reputation in the eyes of many voters."