The Palin Scare Tactic

Bolstered by a new poll that shows a 35 percent favorability rating -- and 49 percent unfavorability -- for Sarah Palin, Democrats are using the specter of the former governor to scare voters into siding with them. Hotline OnCall's Reid Wilson reports:

The DGA is launching what it calls a grassroots effort to brand the GOP as controlled by the Tea Party, and therefore as controlled by Palin. The DGA will debut a web site and video aimed at firing up the Dem base, all by warning of Palin's influence and reach.

"Her leadership and her ideas, to the extent that she has them, are frightening to a lot of people," Daschle said. "She represents how far right and how radical the Republican Party is."

The DCCC is engaged in their own effort to brand GOP candidates as Palin's minions. A website, PalinsPrimaries.com, sought to spotlight the several GOP candidates Palin named on her Facebook page.

The flip side of this strategy is, of course, that Palin's minions have so far done quite well. Nikki Haley trounced Gresham Barrett in the South Carolina gubernatorial primary, Carly Fiorina shot up in the polls after Palin endorsed her, and Karen Handel led Monday's Georgia GOP primary for governor.   

But Republican primaries attract a different voter pool than general elections. The more conservative voters who cast ballots in GOP primaries are probably friendlier to Palin than the more moderate voters -- and independents -- who show up to general elections. Or that's what the Democrats are hoping.

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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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