Republicans doubt Palin will actually run for Senate
The Mama Grizzly says she’s considering running for the U.S. Senate in Alaska.
But Republicans involved in Alaska and Senate politics tell The Daily Caller they believe there’s little chance Sarah Palin will actually pull the trigger and launch a campaign for the 2014 election.
“It’s my sense her signing with Fox is a good indication she will not run,” said one Republican who works in Alaska politics, referencing the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate’s rejoining Fox News as a commentator last month.
On Sean Hannity’s radio show this week, Palin toyed with prospect of running to take on Alaska Democrat Sen. Mark Begich.
“I’ve considered it because people have requested me considering it,” she said.
But Palin — who flirted with the idea running for president in 2012 but ultimately decided against it — suggested in the Hannity interview that she would rather someone else run against Begich.
“I’m still waiting to see what the lineup will be and hoping that, there again, there will be some new blood, some new energy,” she said.
Republicans surveyed by TheDC about a potential Palin candidacy mentioned several other factors that would keep her out of the race, including poor poll numbers and the fact that she turned voters off by resigning as governor. Both Republican and Democratic-affiliated pollsters have indicated in polls this year that her unfavorables in the state hover at 60 percent.
Another Republican told TheDC that other GOP internal polling shows he has seen shows similar negative numbers for Palin, even among Republican primary voters.
“She couldn’t complete a four-year term for governor,” one Republican critic in Alaska said in a phone interview. “Six years for senator is multiple times longer than her attention span.”
Perhaps another reason for those numbers: Palin — who still lives in Wasilla but also bought a home in Arizona several years ago — is portrayed by her opponents in the state as not as interested in the Last Frontier as she is in national politics.
With news that Palin is considering a run, Begich took a swing at her Wednesday using this line of attack.
“I don’t know if she’s a resident,” the Democrat told Politico. “She’s been away from Alaska a lot and has probably lost touch with what’s going on.”
Another complication for Palin: Joe Miller, the 2010 Republican nominee for the Senate who benefited then from the endorsement of Palin and her husband, is running again for the seat.
“As you know, we’ve been close political allies,” Miller told TheDC on Wednesday. “I expect if she intends to move in that direction, she will let me know.”
“I’m not going to speculate about Governor Palin’s intentions,” he added. “She obviously would be a formidable candidate and would dramatically change the dynamics of the race. But running is a choice she will have to make.”
Others point to her drawn-out flirtation with running for the White House in 2012 as evidence that she enjoys the attention that comes with considering a campaign but, ultimately, will decide against running for office. As it was often said as she considered running for president, Palin would lose her lucrative television and speaking contracts if she ran for office.
“Personally, I’ll believe it when I see it,” former National Republican Senatorial Committee aide Brian Walsh wrote on Twitter Tuesday about a Palin for Senate campaign. “She does a good job keeping her name out there on one thing or another though.”
TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein contributed to this report.