Call her a quitter or a laughingstock, but Sarah Palin is still one of the most popular figures in the Republican Party—as admired by local leaders as she is doubted in Washington. A Politico survey of grassroots GOP members nationwide found particular support for her among Westerners, many of whom cited her values of freedom and self-sufficiency. "She's not going to lie, she's not going to sugarcoat it—she's just going to let it rip," said one Arizona Republican.
Palin also commands support among evangelical Christians and rural and small-town Republicans. "You might classify them as the constitutional wing of the party," said a Nevada official. Nevertheless, her resignation as Alaska governor cast serious doubt on her fitness to run for president, even among her strongest supporters inside the party. "People still like her," said an Iowa state senator. "But I'm not sure that they think she has the skills necessary to pull us out of the political funk."