They’ve already moved her tea-party speech on September 3 to a larger venue to accommodate the crowd. As I said on Monday, contrary to popular belief, I think she’ll end up jumping in. There are good arguments against it: Perry’s a formidable competitor for the base, Bachmann has locked up some of the tea partiers she needs, Romney may ultimately benefit if the grassroots fractures over a fight on the right. But Obama’s as weak as any Republican candidate could hope for; even though Palin polls among the worst against him head-to-head, anyone the GOP nominates will stand a fair chance of winning the general now. And the next field, be it in 2016 or 2020, will be tougher than this one. I’ve already named half a dozen impressive young conservatives in other posts who might end up running, but even if Rubio was the only one, that’d be enough. And since, barring a Senate challenge to Begich in Alaska, Palin doesn’t have any easy route to elected office between now and the next presidential campaign, she might as well roll the dice. The road only gets harder for her after this election.
Since we’re talking Perry, Palin, and Iowa, here’s an … interesting poll that made the rounds yesterday. There’s nothing obviously suspect to me about the methodology for surveying Republicans (the poll was automated, just like all of Rasmussen’s), but I’m not familiar with this pollster so assign whatever degree of credibility to it that you like. I joked on Twitter today that it’ll be fun seeing which side Karl Rove comes down on if the race ends up being between Perry and Palin, but he’d surely take solace in the fact that things will inevitably turn really nasty online between each candidate’s supporters. Perry will get called a cronyist, Palin will get called unqualified, and thus shall the wedge be driven into the grassroots. Can’t wait to find out which of the two is the truer “true conservative.” It’s hard for us RINOs to tell sometimes, you know.