Monday, November 16, 2009

GOP Nomination is Palin's for the Taking

Back in July I wrote an analysis, "Can Palin Win the 2012 GOP Nomination?" So far, I'm happy to say, much of my argument has held up.

For example, Rasmussen has the latest poll numbers for Palin among GOP voters, "
59% of GOP Voters Say Palin Shares Their Values." (Via Memeorandum.)

But more closely in line with my earlier thinking is Walter Shapiro at his essay, "
How Palin Could Win the 2012 GOP Nomination":
Undoubtedly at this very moment, two saffron-robed monks in a monastery north of Katmandu are earnestly discussing Sarah Palin's presidential prospects. In the favelas of Rio, the normally fierce arguments about the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics are surely taking a back seat to high-decibel debates over the pre-publication excerpts from Going Rogue.

This is Palin time whether you believe that she is "The Divine Sarah" (as Sarah Bernhardt was once known) or the 21st century version of Barry Goldwater who will lead the Republican Party into the abyss. True believers stress her megawatt incandescence and her Facebook leadership of the conservative tea-party movement at time when all other Republicans seem pallid. Skeptics scoff at the hoopla and argue that the Republican establishment would never nominate someone who, according to a recent CNN/Opinion Research poll, 71 percent of voters describe as "not qualified to be president."

More than two years before the 2012 Iowa caucuses, presidential speculation should come with a soothsayer's money-back guarantee. But what all the discussions of Palin's future miss is the way that Republican Party rules are made-to-order for a well-funded insurgent named Sarah to sweep the primaries before anyone figures out how to stop her. If Palin can maintain, say, 35-percent support in a multi-candidate presidential field, then she is the odds-on favorite for the GOP nomination.
Check the whole post.

Shapiro adds something that few analysts have addressed: The party rules for the GOP presidential nominating system. Whereas the Democratic Party's proportional representation helped drag out last year's primary brawl between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the Republicans' winner-take-all system is designed to produce a frontrunner and party nominee relatively quickly.

Shapiro cites Elaine Kamarck's new book,
Primary Politics: How Presidential Candidates Have Shaped the Modern Nominating System. But see also, William G. Mayer, The Front-Loading Problem in Presidential Nominations.

Also important, and something I stressed in my earlier article, is money: How will Palin's campaign war chest stack up by the end of next year? The timing of her book launch could hardly be better for the politics of presidential camapaign finance. If early fundraising in the 2008 campaign is any indication (tracking trends before any primaries are held), Palin will need upwards of $200 million in the bank (see, "
Money's Going to Talk in 2008: 'Entry Fee' for Presidential Race Could Be $100 Million"). My sense is that no other candidate will be able to raise as much as Palin, and only Mitt Romney will give her a credible challenge in the money race, due to his personal wealth.

It's all speculation at this point, but that's what pundits do.

RELATED: Liz Sidoti, "
2012 GOP Field Wide Open: GOP Wannabes Jockey for 2012."


Reliapundit said...

i'd prefer it if she waited for a run ans used her time raising money for others.

AmPowerBlog said...

She actually didn't confirm she's running on Oprah, Relia. But she's got to raise money soon.

Anonymous said...

Someone help me find how Sarah's 59% compares to other candidates a few years out (in the past). I want to get fired up, but I do remain cautiously optimistic.

However, as the articles point out, it is a big step forward.

Relia, in my opinion, is correct - use "her time raising money"

Mike D.