Nate Silver thinks Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012 and warns that it's foolish to dismiss her chances of getting the GOP nomination "given the makeup and mood of the Republican primary electorate. " He lays out specifics at FiveThirtyEight.com:
- Enthusiasm: Her "brand" will motivate voters who might otherwise stay home. This could actually hurt her in a general election, but not so much in a primary.
- 2010: Republicans are poised for success, and conservatism will likely get all the credit, even if it's undeserved.
- Media: They'll be rooting for her because if she's the candidate, interest and ratings will soar—20% to 30% over what Obama vs. Other Candidate would be, by his estimation.
- Other candidates: All the current top contenders have their flaws, and the "underrated" Mike Huckabee might decide to sit it out until 2016.
- Tough foe: Any attack on Palin is played as sexist, elitist, or as an example of media bias.
- New media: She gets it. "Conservative blogs love Palin, as do most of the shock jocks; they matter a great deal."