Skip to comments.Sarah Palin’s Rough Sled to the Senate: An Alaska Senate run wouldn’t be easy.
Posted on 07/12/2013 7:06:48 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Sarah Palin underexposed?
Its hard to imagine. But in Alaska, where she is considering a Senate run, she might be. The former governor has no profile in Alaska. Shes not active, says a Republican consultant familiar with Alaska politics. Shes doing her own thing personally. Shes not giving speeches and doing Republican-women events and fundraisers and helping people. Shes just very much under the radar.
That kind of invisibility may have prompted her potential opponent, Democrat Mark Begich, to snarkily remark to Politico yesterday, I dont know if shes a resident. Shes been away from Alaska a lot.
According to political insiders in the Last Frontier, the former governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee faces numerous hurdles should she decide to jump into the race. Two prominent Republicans have already announced theyre running, and Begich is a popular incumbent.
In Alaska, Palin just doesnt enjoy the same popularity she once did. A February Public Policy Polling poll showed Palin at 59 percent disapproval and a mere 34 percent approval rate among Alaska voters. That same poll found that Begich would beat Palin by 16 points in a heads-up race. Republican internal polls this spring found similar favorable/unfavorable numbers among Republican voters in the state. Some polls, however, paint a rosier picture for Palin: Alaska GOP pollster Marc Hellenthal found that she had a 65 percent favorable rating in a recent poll of state GOP-primary voters. But even Hellenthals poll found that Palin would have a huge hurdle to overcome in the general election: Among Alaska voters overall, her unfavorable rating is 53 percent.
Right now, Begich is looking very, very good, Hellenthal says. If you and I were betting, wed be betting on Begich.
Nor is it clear Palin could generate much support on the national front. When contacted, the Club for Growth had no comment on a potential Palin senate bid, and Crossroads had nothing to say either. Of the conservative groups I called, only Senate Conservatives Fund executive director Matt Hoskins was openly enthusiastic about a Palin run, e-mailing, Sarah Palin would make a great senator. Shes not afraid to take on liberals and shes willing to buck the establishment in her own party. If she runs, we will support her. No question.
One issue driving Palin to seriously consider the race may be her now-cold relations with Joe Miller, Begichs Republican opponent in 2010, whom she endorsed. The Palin-Miller relationship is no more, says a GOP consultant familiar with Alaska. She was very helpful to him in the primary. Once he won the primary, he thought he was a senator and he kind of said thanks, but no thanks to her involvement in the general election.
Theres been a little bit of a split there, the consultant adds. Shes not interested in doing the Joe Miller thing again.
Miller isnt buying it: I suspect that is just wishful thinking on behalf of some establishment consultant, and has no basis in reality, he says, adding that he has long worked with Palin. I dont believe that she would say such a thing. What is clear to me is that anyone who would presume to speak for Sarah Palin doesnt know Sarah Palin.
Running could cost Palin. She has recently returned to Fox News as a contributor, a lucrative and prominent perch which she would almost certainly lose if she announced a Senate bid. If she was running her own race, she probably wouldnt be able to maintain her role as a kingmaker in the GOP party by making endorsements and traveling around the country, as she did in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. And if she loses, she could become less influential: Losing to Begich in a one-on-one match-up in her home state is different than losing as a running mate in a national election, and would be a second straight political loss.
She also would become a rallying point for the other side. When news that she was considering a bid leaked, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina celebrated what a Palin run could do for Democrats, saying on Twitter, Candidate @sarapalin [sic]? Could anything be better for natl Dems? and If @SarahPalinUSA runs for senate, id take the over on who she raises more money for, Dems or Repubs.
All of this means that Palin might be more interested in considering a 2016 presidential bid than trying to become one of a hundred senators. On the other hand, she may not even want to remain a Republican: She suggested just a couple of weeks ago in an interview with Fox News that she might leave the GOP and help form a new party.
On balance, Palin, who generated plenty of attention by publicly flirting with a 2012 presidential bid, seems unlikely to mount a Senate run. Instead, look for her to continue to discuss the idea and ultimately endorse someone who isnt Joe Miller.
Katrina Trinko is an NRO reporter.
GOP-e gettin’ scared.......
Yeah, she has to leave Alaska to get away from a stalker that the authorities won’t do a damned thing about, so now, she isn’t an Alaska resident, according to a RAT!
As much as I generally like Palin, if I lived in Alaska, I would have 2nd thoughts about voting for her in any election... She chose to bail on the governor’s office after being elected. What’s to keep her from doing the same in the US Senate?
The Establishment Republicans in Alaska are about the only people for whom Sarah Palin has no “profile”. She looms large wherever she goes and earns respect and even grudging admiration among just about every demographic EXCEPT the E-Republicans.
You don’t want to make the Mama Grizzly Bear angry.
They have no idea what she is thinking.
LOL, yeah she’s under the radar all right. If she runs, watch how much Soros type money gets pumped in there to stop her.
What a joke! What would you have done then if your enemies were bankrupting you for doing your job? Every turn they would sue her and it was costing her family and the state money and back then Sarah wasn’t rich according to politican standards. You come here with this I like Sarah crap but then spew that she abandon her state but you seem to not know what was going on and can’t offer what you would have done differently
I think she’s doing a great job backing conservative candidates for the House and Senate. Nothing wrong with being a highly paid kingmaker. Ask Ted Cruz.
The author here falsely claim that Joe Miller ran against Begich. She doesn’t even who is who
Translation: The Republican money men in Alaska won't back her, even if she is popular. She got up too many noses as Governor.
Shame on you for repeating that lie. She resigned as governor because of the expense of all the frivolous lawsuits that were being brought against her. She would not have the same problem in the senate. But I have a big problem with you no knowing the facts!
The National Review only likes Eastern establishment candidates. This is just another example.
How many times have we been over this? Seriously?
As far as I'm concerned, someone as uninformed as you shoudn't be voting in the first place. Leave voting to people who actually DO THEIR HOMEWORK.
She had a 70% approval rating as Governor before the drive-by media went to town on her.
You’ve been around long enough to know that Gov Palin was driven from her governorship by Rat operatives filing endless law suits against her. She had to pay for her defense out of her own pocket and was bankrupted by legal fees. Her only escape from finical ruin was resigning. IIRC correctly she was $500,000 in debt when she resigned.