Newsweek: 2012 Republican Front Runners Are…

Newsweek: 2012 Republican Front Runners Are…


Yes, Palin’s on the list, but she ranks third behind Romney and Huckabee. And with a field like that, does she really think she can overcome the perceptions that have formed about her during this election cycle?

From Newsweek:

If John McCain is not elected president, which one of the following three possible candidates would you be most likely to support for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012?

Romney: 35%
Huckabee: 26%
Palin: 20%

Interesting numbers, right? And certainly not unexpected.

But check out how the numbers break out when we look at the preferences between Traditional Republicans and Social Issue Republicans…

Traditional Republicans
Romney: 42%
Huckabee: 23%
Palin: 19%

Social Issue Republicans
Huckabee: 31%
Romney: 30%
Palin: 23%

What does this tell me? Palin doesn’t have a chance. Huckabee will take Iowa again and Romney will take New Hampshire. And what state’s left for her to build momentum? South Carolina? Not likely. Huckabee will easily out “folk” her during the debates.

And ultimately, I think the Traditional Republicans are going to try and reclaim their party in 2012. So that doesn’t leave her any room to make a serious bid.

One last data point…Republicans apparently want her to run for President in 2012 by 44% to 38%. Preference break out like this…

Traditional Republicans
Yes: 42%
No: 40%

Social Issue Republicans
Yes: 52%
No: 34%

Interestingly enough, Huckabee better try and convince her to not run because she’ll doom his chances.

Still, it’s best Sarah sits the next one out and focuses on 2016. That is, if she even wants the job.

  • david

    Jeb Bush will be the GOP nominee in 20012 and the neocons will run free again, ready to finish off America once and for all.

  • kranky kritter

    America LOVES to give people 2nd chances. (To their credit, IMO).

    Suppose over the next 3 years Sara Palin makes occasional breaks intot he national press with tough but sensible comments about national policy and decent ideas she has implemented in Alaska. Suppose further that with 3 more years of practice she comes across as more poised and polished, and able to string together good solid answers to questions she fumbled due to nervousness. Suppose she stops blurting out GOP boilerplate catch phrases because she now is able to keep her cool and is therefore able to express herself clearly. She has shown this ability in many instances.

    I mean c’mon. Barack Obama is far more poised in unscripted forums than he was 6 months ago. People can learn and grow. We know this to be true.

  • Clint

    Recent history would suggest that the odds are very much against her:
    1976 – VP Nominee Bob Dole – lost in 1996
    1980 – VP Walter Mondale – lost in 1984
    1984 – VP Geraldine Ferarro – never got another chance
    1988 – VP Nominee Loyd Bentsen – never got another chance
    1992 – VP Dan Quayle – never got another chance
    1996 – VP Nominee Jack Kemp – never got another chance
    2000 – VP Nominee Joe Leiberman – never got another chance
    2004 – VP Nominee John Edwards – never got another chance

    …and that’s just what I can remember off the top of my head (and a few quick trips to wikipedia)

  • Doug Mataconis


    A slight addendum to your list.

    Dan Quayle did run for President in 2000 until he discovered he had no chance.

    Same thing for Joe Lieberman in 2004, and John Edwards in 2008.

    Those three former VP nominees (and in one case a former VP) didn’t even manage to get their parties’ nomination.

  • zune

    Palin is at her peak today, she wont magically become more popular over time. If she’s 3rd at her peak, she can’t win in 2012.

  • kranky kritter

    Here are a couple more VP nominees. Al Gore. George Bush Sr. Duh! So we know that one time VP noms can later win their party’s top nom, and that they can win. When they have lost or not had later appeal, is that because they were the VP nom on a losing ticket? I’m skeptical.

    Notice how often the VP nom is chosen for ticket balancing reasons and as a result has only parochial appeal. Further notice how often the choice is a solid but unspectacular person with maturity and experience, someone who is generally well-regarded but has always lacked personality, star power, etc. Palin is neither of these beasts.

    The question is whether or not Palin comes in for the stink of failure or not if and when McCain loses. Traditionally, the stank affixes to the ticket topper. Palin is a GOP base darling, and that endures despite left-wing contempt. I do agree that Huckabee and Palin would potentially split the base. I also think Huckabee is much more polished and appealing candidate.

    The list Clint cites is noticeable for several flaws. It’s only 8 people long, which is a small sample. Further, several of these folks either lacked later aspirations or had circumstances close their window of opportunity. I serious doubt that the VP slot had anything to do with it. They’re mostly just folks who lacked braiod ticket-topping appeal. Here’s the thing. We all know right now for a fact that Palin has VERY strong appeal among the GOP base, garnering in in-party enthusiasm vastly greater than any of the folks on Clint’s list. The only reasonable guess to make is that right now she qualifies for the short list for 2012. She’ll have 3 years to show she either does or does not belong on it.

    Waiting longer might not be a bad idea, sure. But OTOH the vast experience of political consultants always counsels that potential candidates should never underestimate how quickly one’s window of opportunity can close.

  • Shelby

    It will be Romney 2012!

  • esm

    I think it will be Bobby Jindal and Mitt Romney…they are a great team to beat out Obama. I can’t wait!

  • ImagePhreak

    Dont be fooled by the Pied Pipers (Mccain, Romney, Pailin, yes even Huck is a paid for establishment patriot poser), Vote RON PAUL 2012. campaignforliberty dot com.

  • Charles Harris

    Ron Paul 2012. He has the best chances at beating President Obama.