Palin Will Be the 2012 Nominee

Winner-take-all primaries favor unpopular Palin
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2009 11:39 AM CST
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin serves the public hot dogs before officially resigning during the annual Governor's Picnic July 26, 2009 at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – She may be hugely polarizing, but Sarah Palin’s the odds-on favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, thanks to the party’s winner-take-all primary system. The party establishment may not want Palin, but if she can maintain, say, 35% support in a multi-candidate field, she could win a few states and rack up an insurmountable lead early, Walter Shapiro of Politics Daily writes.

Normally the GOP counts on South Carolina to weed out fringe candidates, but Palin is mainstream enough to win the conservative state. So if party insiders don’t want another Goldwater on their hands, they’ll either have to rally around another candidate—which isn’t likely given the egos involved—or change the primary system to a proportional one like the Democrats use, and risk a long, damaging battle.