Originally Posted by droski
i agree with you in that even a 5% vote for her could cost them the election, but i don't see the groundswell of support for her for pres that you do. perot was a different situation in that he attracted a lot of moderates that probably usually would have voted for the republican candidate.
I agree with you but think your logic is a little off in that Perot as you say took some moderates who would have voted for the GOP candidate. My point is that if Palin ran as a third party candidate 99.99999 % of the people who vote for her would have voted for the GOP candidate over Obama.
Virtually no one who votes for Palin would be defecting from Obama.
So, unlike Perot, who presumably took at least a little from possible Clinton supporters, in this case all of her support would be at the cost of the GOP.
More important, Palin would be running on the back of a very conservative grassroots movement that is highly motivated. That is, if she were to have the support of, say, 30% of the GOP right now and at primary time, but lose to a consensus mainstream candidate like Romney, if she ran a fairly significant hard core group of her Tea Party supporters would stick with her.
Whereas Perot got 18.9 % of the popular vote (I hadn't remembered that he got that much, but he did) I think Palin could get a significantly higher percentage, and ALL of it at the cost of the GOP candidate.
The other point is that, if that situation developed and if the economy does improve, I can see Palin and the Tea Party rationalizing it that the odds of beating Obama aren't that great, anyway, and so why not make a statement in 2012 to anchor the GOP further to the right for 2016.