Reality Check

Ben Smith thinks Palin's war with the media is catching up to her:

She's vanished into Facebook at heavy expense to her national image. Her many supporters still love her, her voice still carries some power -- but the [the print, broadcast, and online media] filter has proven that it still has its bite. She's become an object of analysis and, sometimes, mockery without being present in the conversation. Her approval ratings are steadily falling, and her unfavorable ratings are rising.

But to get the nomination, she only needs the 38 percent. And that 38 percent is so devoted - from former gay men still devastated by losing one diva (Clinton) to, well:

"We would literally walk across hot broken glass for this woman," says Nicole Coulter, a frequent contributor to the most prominent pro-Palin web site, Conservatives4Palin.com, which serves as an up-to-the-second source of news and analysis of all things Palin. "She represents something very powerful. It's deeper than politics. It's much, much deeper than politics. It's cultural. It's just this zeitgeist of raw emotion, kind of what our country is all about."

Of course, other national politicians attract passionate support, but with Palin's biggest fans, the devotion to the former Alaska governor resides on a deeply personal level that seems unique in American life.

"She's our family, and you protect your family; it's like the mafia," Coulter says. "She's just one of us, and when they insult her, they're insulting millions of us."

It's hers to lose.