No matter what kind of gains Republicans make in the midterm elections next year, it’s going to be tough to unseat President Obama—and that’s why the GOP is going to choose Sarah Palin, its heart’s preferred candidate, over Mitt Romney, its head’s favorite. Or as Matt Lewis puts it, “If you’re going to lose anyway, is it better to lose atop the horse you really want to ride?”
Republicans have often ended up with two kinds of choices in efforts to unseat Democratic incumbents, Lewis notes for Politics Daily. There’s the “whose-turn-is-it” nominee: Richard Nixon, Bob Dole, John McCain. Then there’s the sacrificial lamb, a la Barry Goldwater. But “Palin is the only potential candidate on the Republican side with star power,” Lewis explains. “It’s hard to quantify that trait, but Reagan had it”—and in 2012, the GOP might well bet on finding its next Reagan.