Palin’s Prospects

Brendan Nyhan writes:

It’s amusing to me that people think Sarah Palin is going to run for president in 2012 if McCain loses. Her favorable/unfavorable numbers in the new CBS/NYT poll are 32 percent favorable/41 percent unfavorable. That’s where Hillary Clinton and Al Gore were in early 2007 after 15+ years of negative press. By contrast, Palin has been in the public eye for less than two months. I find it hard to believe that GOP primary voters would see her as the person they think can defeat Barack Obama.

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Maybe so. It’s striking to me, though, that explicit “electability” arguments don’t seem to feature heavily in GOP presidential primaries. This is a huge contrast from the Democratic side, where both the 2004 and 2008 primaries ended up showing a heavy focus on those questions. All signs are that a lot of conservatives like Palin just fine. If she can connect with a donor base, it seems to me that she’d be a reasonably strong primary contender. She’d have the leg up, meanwhile, of being better-known nationwide at this point than just about any other eligible Republican.