"Like it or not, if Sarah Palin decides to seek our nation's highest office, she has a shot," Matthew Dowd, the chief strategist for the Bush/Cheney '04 campaign, writes in today's Washington Post, before offering Palin a list of advice on how to get there.
Dowd draws a parallel between Palin and Obama, in that each are beloved by members of their own party, and not liked so much by members of the other:
Polls show that Palin's favorability numbers are a mirror image of those of Obama. She is respected and loved by the Republican base, while Democrats despise her. Granted, independent voters have significant reservations about her capability to be president, and this would be a hurdle in the general election. But to win the Republican nomination, Palin needs only to get enough support from the base to win early key states. Already, in nearly every poll today, she has a level of support that makes her a viable primary candidate. Just look at the crowds and the buzz her book tour is drawing.
And it's true: Obama is liked by 88 percent of Demcorats and disliked by 93 percent of Republicans, according to his latest major favorability poll, conducted by Research 2000 for Daily Kos.
Palin, meanwhile, is liked by 70 percent of Republicans and disliked by 62 percent of Democrats, according to Fox.
Dowd's point is that Palin could very well win the GOP nomination, but it's important to remember that not so many people are Republicans these days: about 22 percent of the country identifies as Republican according to Pollster.com's average, vs. 34.6 percent as Democratic and 34.8 percent as independent, meaning a successful GOP primary candidate might not fare as well in the general.