Will Sarah Palin Run in 2012? by Gregory Hilton


Her reality show has come to an end, but the TLC network announced today that on April 5th it will release a DVD of all seven shows for $19.98. Based on this week’s polling numbers, I am not sure it still is “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” Her approval rating in the state has dropped by 50%, and it would not be a surprise if the family moved to Arizona to join her daughter Bristol. Her national numbers from PPP and CNN/Opinion Research are not encouraging.
It is hard to understand the Palin phenomenon. No other former Vice Presidential candidate has ever received so much enthusiasm from the party base. Her endorsements in 2010 definitely had an impact. The survey data shows she had an instrumental role in Sen-elect Rand Paul’s (R-KY) primary victory, and he was just one of many.
Sen-elect Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) won her primary by just 2,000 votes. Conservatives said she won because of Palin’s backing, but moderates point to polls showing a significant drop in Ayotte support after the endorsement. She even had a role on the Democratic side. Rep. Joe Sestak’s (D-PA) ads showing Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) with Palin were a factor in his upset primary victory.
This has never happened before. Democrats in 2002 and 2006 were not clamoring for endorsements from Joe Lieberman or John Edwards. Republicans in 1998 could have cared less about a Jack Kemp endorsement. Perhaps it is because she is a woman, but Democrats nominated Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and she immediately faded.
The Palin brand name is a huge success, and her book sales continue to set records. She pays staffers over $100,000/year to manage her Facebook and Twitter accounts, and it is a wise investment. Will Palin be a 2012 presidential candidate? I have no inside information but I don’t think so. I know it is early, but she is not taking any of the steps traditionally made by presidential candidates.
She did not have much time in the Governor’s office to establish a record, but she has done surprising things in the past. She defeated the incumbent Governor, Frank Murkowski (R) in the primary, and then best former Gov. Tony Knowles (D) in the general election. She is a hunting and fishing female who has an appeal to Sportsmen. She was getting high marks by taking on the petroleum regulatory agency but all of that good will was lost when she resigned. Palin definitely has strong support among pro-lifers.
Her book tour brought her to many of the early primary states (Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina) but she declined all requests to meet with potential supporters.
She has also been offered valuable media exposure in these states, but she would not talk to the press. Her book tours brought her to Iowa twice in the past year, but she would not agree to interviews with the local TV stations or newspapers.
Any other candidate would have jumped at the opportunity for free media exposure. In recent weeks Palin has sat down for an increasing number of interviews with mainstream media outlets, but my guess is that she will not be a candidate.

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