A Democratic group called “Primaries for Palin” is suggesting to vote in the Republican primaries for Sarah Palin, the theory being that Obama would have a better chance of beating her in the general election.
The “Primaries for Palin” organizers appear to have a point, since current head-to-head polls show former Governor Palin faring less well against President Obama than other potential Republican candidates. Indeed, this effort sounds a lot like the Rush Limbaugh-inspired “Operation Chaos,” which had Republicans voting in Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton to keep her candidacy alive much longer against Barack Obama than would otherwise be the case.
The problem for “Primaries for Palin” is that the organizers are relying on poll numbers that may not be reflective of Sarah Palin’s strength in 2012. The Iowa Caucus is over a year away and the general election a year and a half.
Palin’s negative poll numbers are indicative of the fact that the former Alaska governor has been exposed in the media more than virtually any other American politician, including, some may suggest, President Obama himself. That has allowed a campaign of negative attacks to bring down her approval numbers before a formal campaign could begin.
The theory being bandied about by some political analysts is that Sarah Palin has nowhere to go but up, which she will be able to do once she is able to make her case in an election campaign. If Palin can effectively make the case for her candidacy, expanding her support beyond her solid base, then she would close the polling gap and make a race of it with Barack Obama in the 2012 general election.
Some have suggested that there is a historic parallel to a Palin candidacy. In late 1978, Ronald Reagan, himself a former governor and media star, was considered a has-been politician who had tried for the presidency in 1976 and had fallen short. Reagan was ridiculed, like Palin, for his alleged lack of intelligence and his alleged extremism. Yet, in 1980, Ronald Reagan beat President Jimmy Carter and became the 40th President of the United States.
Even if the economy starts to turn around by 2012, it will most likely be an anemic recovery, not redounding very well to President Obama’s credit. Fights over health care reform and climate change regulations, in which Obama will be on the opposite side of public opinion, will further weaken the President. And there is always the possibility of a foreign policy disaster in Iran, North Korea, or some other place, or a domestic high-casualty terrorist attack that the President may be blamed for.
So, the organizers of “Primaries for Palin” may be pumping themselves up for what they think is a clever strategy but what might actually be something else entirely. In other words, careful what you wish for.
Source: Primaries for Palin, Mission Statement