“Where are her huge electoral powerhouse victories?”
I have observed that the polls and the news readers have taken to reminding us that Sarah Palin’s nomination spells certain defeat for the GOP in 2012. Let’s examine the question of Sarah Palin’s prowess as a candidate, measured against the current field:
It has been noted that former Senator Rick Santorum won his Senate seat in a big GOP year (1994) and lost it big in a Democrat year (2006), sweeping in with one tide and out with another. This is evidence of weakness as a candidate. Let’s examine the rest of this field, using 2006 as the barometer.
Tim Pawlenty won reelection in 2006 by the skin of his teeth, less that one half of one per cent. He is no political power house if, as an incumbent with no scandal, he can BARELY hold his seat against a no name Democrat challenger. Had it not been for the Green Party siphoning off Democrat votes, Pawlenty would have lost.
Huckabee, who was Lieutenant Governor, backed into the Governor’s Mansion in 1996 when the previous governor went to jail. He managed to hold it through the salad years of Clinton’s impeachment and Bush’s early ascendancy, but the polls In Arkansas showed him losing badly in the big Democrat year of 2006, so he tucked tail and took his traveling medicine show out West to run for President.
Mitt Romney similarly saw his poll numbers so low that his defeat for reelection in 2006 was all but certain. Rather than face certain defeat and the end of his Presidential ambitions, Romney followed the same path as Huckabee.
So which candidate successfully swam AGAINST the tide of a big Democrat year in 2006 and registered two huge victories? SARAH PALIN. First, she dispatched Governor and three time U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski in the GOP primary by 51-19%. Then she entered the general election campaign. Unlike Pawlenty, who was aided by a challenge from the fringe left, Sarah Palin faced a third Party Challenge by a former GOPer, Andrew Halcro, who self financed a campaign against her and drew nearly 10% of the vote. Facing these adversities, and alone among the rising stars of the GOP, Sarah Palin swam hard against the big Democrat tsunami of 2006. She easily defeated popular two term former Governor Tony Knowles by 8% (the polls near election day said it was a dead heat). That, my friends, is empirical evidence of electoral prowess.
So when the Lamesteam media is telling us who is and who is not electable, based upon their early (and “cooked”) polls let’s follow the wise counsel of former Governor and 1928 Presidential Candidate Al Smith: “Let’s look at the record.” And, more to the point, let’s force the media to look at the record.
If we do that, they will be forced to acknowledge that it is Sarah Palin—based not only on her great successes of 2010, but also on her tremendous “swim against the tide” in 2006— who is by far the most formidable candidate the GOP could field in 2012.
As far as 2010 is concerned and what Palin did for Perry:
Rick Perry similarly faced a very competitive GOP primary against a sitting U.S. Senator, who is more liberal than he, and a solid conservative, Deb Medina, who was very popular with conservatives in Texas and nationally. In essence, he was squeezed from both directions, a challenge on the left and on the right. As she did with Bachmann, Palin went to Perry’s aid early and often, endorsing him in the summer of 2009, ahead of the March 2010 primary. The first poll of Perry (by Rasmussen on September 16, 2009), which included both Hutchison and Medina, showed Hutchison pulling ahead of Perry 40-38, with Medina in single digits at 3%.
Perry crowed ad nauseam about Palin’s endorsement in order to prevent Medina from gaining real traction and eclipsing him among conservatives. At the time of the endorsement, Perry had this to say about the value of Governor Palin’s endorsement and their warm personal friendship:
‘Facing a tough Republican primary fight next year in his bid for a third term, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is brandishing the heavy artillery: Sarah Palin’s endorsement of his campaign.”If there’s a bigger endorsement in the Republican universe, I don’t know who it is than Sarah,” he declared in a telephone interview over the weekend. He described the Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee as a “close personal friend” who knows my heart.”’
As Matt Lewis observed in the article, “Palin’s nod is indeed an asset for Perry, helping him cement his appeal to social conservatives in the Lone Star State.” While Perry never again fell behind, even Palin’s endorsement could not totally blunt the momentum for Deb Medina, who continued to rise in the polls, reaching a high point of 24% on February 7, 2010, three weeks before the primary, and reducing Perry’s showing to 39% (Hutchison had 28%). Enter Palin again. She appeared at a nationally televised rally in Houston that drew over 8000 people on Super Bowl Sunday, February 8, 2010. After the rally, Medina never again broke 20 in a poll.
With Palin’s conspicuous and staunch support, Perry barely beat back the challengers in March 2 primary, winning 51% to 30% for Hutchison and 19% for Medina. Even with Palin’s support, Medina nearly forced a runoff, so great was conservative revulsion with Perry in Texas. Had Palin backed Medina as strongly as she backed Perry, it is quite possible that Medina and Hutchison would have been in a run off, and Perry would have been odd man out. Had Palin done nothing for Perry, it is a foregone conclusion that he would have faced a tough runoff. In other words, Perry owes Palin his political hide.
Does that answer your question?
I take issue with this guy's use of the term "barely beat back". I don't see how you can use the word barely to describe a 20 point win.