Saturday, January 1, 2011

"Sarah Palin’s Nomination Chances: A Reassessment"

Nate Silver, writing in the NYT, reassesses Sarah Palin's chances to win the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Silver looks back at an article he wrote in November 2009 containing 10 reasons he thought she had a chance at clinching the nomination.

The 10 topics Silver covers are: 1. "Enthusiasm" (can Palin motivate people to go to the polls--both to vote for and against her?), 2. "2010" (Republicans gained in the midterms, but Palin-endorsed Tea Party candidates didn't all fare particularly well), 3. "The other candidates are flawed" (Romney, Ginrich, Pawlenty and Huckabee -- the likely Republican 2012 contenders -- all face popularity problems of their own), 4. "The other candidates might not run" (Palin could gain a great deal if a conservative like Ginrich or Huckabee opts to sit it out in 2012), 5. "The media will be rooting for her" (Palin is good for ratings). 6. She's tough to campaign against (criticisms of her can be seen as sexist or elitist), 7. "There are virtually no moderates left in the Republican base" (based on some recent exit polling about one-third of Republican voters self-identify as moderate or liberal, how much will this hurt the conservative Palin?), 8. "Attempts by the Republican establishment to neuter her may backfire" (Palin could play the victim card), 9. "Parties tend to nominate more extreme candidates in elections against incumbents" (this may or may not be a strong trend), 10. "She gets new media; new media gets her" (Palin knows how to use new media, and at least some in the blogosphere love her) 
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