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Don't Mess with the Barracuda

Palin on the march.

12:19 PM, Jul 16, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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Don't Mess with the Barracuda

This has been a great couple of weeks for Sarah Palin. Her endorsements show that her finger is on the pulse of Republican voters. She released a campaign-style video that won plaudits from the D.C. establishment. Her PAC announced that it had raised funds commensurate with other serious contenders for the 2012 Republican nomination. A PPP poll showed her tied with Obama in a hypothetical matchup (though a Time poll showed Obama trouncing her, and obviously such polls tell us absolutely nothing about the state of politics two years from now). Today, Gallup released a survey showing that, among Republicans, Palin has the highest name recognition -- and highest favorables -- of any major potential candidate for the 2012 nod.

Capping it all off, a savvy Palin response forced Mitt Romney to distance himself from anonymous comments made by his aides calling Palin unserious.

Of course, none of this tells us whether or not Palin will run in 2012. I'd be honestly surprised if even Palin knows whether she's going to run. What the good news shows, rather, is that Sarah Palin remains the most underestimated and unpredictable figure in American politics. Despite all the twists and turns over the last year, she continues to be popular among Republicans. And it will be Republicans, not Democrats and (most) independents, who will decide the 2012 Republican nominee.

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