Bachmann loses if Palin runs

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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On May 18, I wrote a post arguing Sarah Palin could still run for — and win — the GOP nomination. It was largely ignored. But today, renewed speculation that Palin might run for president has led pundits to wonder who stands to win or lose from a Palin candidacy. Many think Mitt Romney would benefit; the obvious loser would be Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Nathan Gonzales, a political analyst for The Rothenberg Political Report, tells me the two conservative ladies would be instant competitors. Both would have to win Iowa, and “they occupy a simplar place within the Republican Party,” Gonzales says (noting they would compete for the votes of Tea Party conservatives and Evangelicals).

The Des Moines Register’s Kathie Obradovich seems to agree, writing: “One potential landmine for Bachmann is Sarah Palin’s renewed overture toward a potential candidacy. Bachmann’s not a clone of the former Alaska governor, but she would face continual comparisons that could make it tougher to establish herself with voters.”

Asked whether Bachmann would back down should Palin run, Gonzales tells me, “I don’t see her immediately deferring to Palin.” Things could get ugly…

Matt K. Lewis