I had a dream a few weeks ago, where Sarah Palin won the Republican presidential nomination, then proceeded to get trounced by Obama in the general. Obama won all fifty states, then broke out snickering in the section of his victory speech where he tried to congratulate his opponent "on a well-fought campaign."
Obviously, that's not going to happen -- even if the GOP does nominate Palin, Obama won't run the table. But how well will he do? Palin consistnetly underperforms the rest of the GOP field in head-to-head matchups against the President. A recent batch of polls has Obama up 4 against "generic Republican" in Pennsylvania, and up 7 against Mitt Romney, but thrashing Palin by 28. In Wisconsin, it's a similar story: Mike Huckabee is the closest GOP contender (down 7), while Palin trails by 19.
It makes me wonder what the floor really is. Obviously we have the 27% crazification factor, but seriously -- what states are in play in a hypothetical Palin campaign? It makes me want to see polls of Idaho, Utah, and Alabama -- just for my own sense of curiosity.
Meanwhile, I'm also genuinely curious as to whether Palin will run or not. I actually think she has no shot at a GOP nomination -- it seems it is beginning to penetrate even amongst the base that she's toxic. And Palin doesn't exactly strike me as the sort to handle defeat magnanimously -- I can definitely see her as the type who would prefer not to even contest the nomination rather than face the stigma of being humiliated in crushing defeat. On the other hand, she's not exactly self-aware, so maybe she doesn't realize just how precarious her standing is? I don't know.