Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Will Sarah Palin Go Rogue in 2012?

Sarah Palin is out with her new book, and touring to promote it. She even made a stop on the Oprah show—this would of course be the same Oprah who supported Obama for President last year. So now is as good a time as any to consider her chances for 2012.

I still think they don’t look good. True, Republicans tend to view her favorably. But the space she can carve out in the Republican primary field is in the religious right. I don’t see the fiscal conservative wing or national security hawks going to a less-than-one term governor of Alaska for their first choice. There will likely be too many other choices.

But with the religious right, she’ll have to contend with the charismatic Mike Huckabee, and possibly someone like Tom Coburn or John Thune who are both popular with social conservatives. It is difficult to see her winning a stunning victory in Iowa or South Carolina, where evangelical voters dominate. And I don’t see her playing too well in New Hampshire, so that leaves her without a victory in one of the crucial early states.

I think Palin would be a disaster in the general election, and can only win if the economy is in a depression. Otherwise, she’ll alienate too many moderates and well-off suburban swing voters with her very conservative views. Team Obama would probably be happy to face her.

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