Top 10 what-ifs of the midterms

What if Sarah Palin had run for reelection?

Democrats were unlikely to take the Alaska governor’s mansion with Palin in the race. They’re almost as unlikely to take over now that she’s vacated it, elevating her former lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell, to the state’s top job.

If Palin had served out her term and sought another one, her role in the 2010 campaign might be completely different. Would “mama grizzly” be a political brand, or would Palin have focused on her own race? Would there be a Nikki Haley if Palin had stayed in Alaska? How about a Joe Miller?

Democrats might also have been able to make Palin a focal point of their 2010 efforts — even more so than they have — by ginning up fundraising with promises of her defeat.