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John Ellis at Real Clear Politics makes a wise assessment that I had not considered before:  That Sarah Palin is really the front runner for the GOP nomination in 2012:

Sarah Palin cranked up her 2012 presidential campaign another notch last week, with the release of a campaign video aimed directly at women. The basic math is simple. If she gets half of the female primary voters and caucus attenders to support her, then she standing starts at roughly 25% of the total vote. Throw in a third of the male vote and she’s at roughly 40%. Forty percent wins the Iowa caucuses, handily.

Ellis suggests that Palin wins Iowa, loses to Romney in New Hampshire and then South Carolina is the battleground.  There may not be much the GOP establishment can do about it.  Romney is tainted by irrational prejudice:

The fact is that the Republican Party of 2012 is not going to nominate a Mormon as its standard bearer.

I don’t think Mormonism has anything to do with it; the Mormon question can be dealt (watch out unsolicited advice for Mitt Romney coming up!) with by stressing that most of the Mormons I have known are upright, honest people with good families. 

No, the thing that will derail Romney is his health care package with the individual mandate.  No one can credibly run against Obama with a platform like that. 

Ellis is right that Palin has demographics on her side and that she is loved by the base:

And the more important fact is that the base of the Republican Party doesn’t just favor Sarah Palin, they love her. She is their standard bearer. And they will not — this time around — be denied.

Palin was unfairly treated by the media and thus most Republican primary voters will try to even the score.  They’ll root for her, give her money and vote for her.  I observed a poll in Georgia just today that may show her power.  She endorsed Karen Handel for Governor there and the latest poll (which was actually before her endorsement) shows Handel surging.  Palin knows how to pick a winner.  All these officeholders that owe some favor to Sarah Palin might be willing to help her in 2012. 

The only credible alternative is Newt Gingrich but he’ll have so much baggage (it’s a shame, he’s smart and able to serve) that he can’t win. 

But there is one thing the GOP establishment can do:  Get behind Ron Paul.  That’s right; Cong. Paul.  He’s got the national grassroots effort, can raise money and has some 2010 visibility.  I would also suggest that Paul has grown in the respect meter among both GOP regulars and independents.  Paul would impact both the tea party and the libertarians, bring in some social conservatives and it is very likely his anti-war stance will be an asset rather than a liability.  Time to eat crow now rather than deal with the alternative.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Kay says:

    I am a Christian white woman in my early 40’s. I fit within the group that would vote for Sarah Palin as President in 2012. However, Congressman Ron Paul, not Sarah Palin, is the one who will get my vote instead.

    I think Sarah Palin is a very good, likable person with good core values. However, she does not seem to have a deep knowledge of any issue except for energy. She also seems to either not be knowledgeable about or to not be worried about our children being unnecessarily drugged to death (because of psychiatrists and Big Pharma).

    Ron Paul is the only politician that I trust to take our country back to the Constitution as well as to get our country out of debt.

    • Sandy Sanders

      AMEN Kay! I ask you to get out and get involved wherever you can – Tea Party/Ron Paul meetup/Campaign for Liberty/ GOP Liberty Caucus. Let’s win together! Thanks for writing and reading!



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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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