Romney Needs Palin to Divert Perry Surge

Tuesday, 30 Aug 2011 11:42 AM

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One Republican presidential candidate who would benefit if Sarah Palin entered the contest is Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor has sunk dramatically in the polls since the entry of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and a Palin candidacy probably would skim off some the tea party support boosting Perry, The Washington Post’s political blog The Fix reports.

Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Bachmann, Perry
Mitt Romney on potential Sarah Palin candidacy: “In a lot of respects, it’s the best thing that could happen to me.”(Getty Images Photo)
Two national polls now show Perry leading Romney by 12 points, and a substantial part of this strength is with the tea party. Perry runs neck and neck with Romney among GOP members not associated with the tea party but leads all rivals by 21 points among tea party supporters, The Fix reported.

If Palin jumped in, the tea party vote would be split three ways among Perry, Palin, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

“The other way that a Palin candidacy would help Romney is to allow him convince more establishment types that he is the only candidate in the field who can maximize the party’s opportunity against President Obama in 2012,” The Fix suggests.

A Palin entry also would blunt the momentum that Perry now has and take the focus off Romney’s weaknesses, such as healthcare, and put the focus on such things as electability. None of this is lost on Romney, who remarked a few months back about a possible Palin entry: “In a lot of respects, it’s the best thing that could happen to me.”


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