Matt Lewis
Chris Cillizza thinks Sarah Palin is a 2012 contender:

"To our mind, the fact that Palin's number have faltered among the general electorate and that some in the conservative chattering class have soured on her only strengthens her profile among rank and file conservatives come 2012.

In late September polling by the Post (the last time we asked detailed questions of voter attitudes on Palin) nearly nine in ten (87 percent) Republicans and 84 percent of conservatives felt favorably toward her. More than six in ten felt "strongly" favorable.

And, in contrast to the defections in some circles McCain has seen (and Edsall detailed) following the Palin pick, Republicans and conservatives, by and large, believe her selection demonstrated the strength of McCain's decision-making process, according to a Post tracking poll released yesterday.

More than seven in ten Republicans and just under that number of self-identified "conservatives" said McCain's choice of Palin made them more confident in the kind of decisions he'd make as president.

In most presidential primaries, the candidate most in line with the conservative or liberal base of their party winds up winning. (McCain was an exception to that rule; Obama was not.) Palin is clearly OF the conservative base in a real and meaningful way; they view her as their first real spokesperson on the national stage in recent memory -- perhaps since Ronald Reagan. It's hard to imagine those feelings going away because she has not worn well with either moderate and independent minded voters of the conservative media.

And, for those who argue that questions of electability in a general election will dog Palin if and when she is a candidate for president, we say pish-posh."

UpdateMarc Ambinder seems to agree.


Matt Lewis

Matt Lewis is conservative writer and blogger based in Alexandria, VA.

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