Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

The Truth About Sarah Palin and ‘Independent’ Voters

So, Sarah Palin can’t win independents, blah, blah, blah. It’s all we hear.

Let’s talk a little about this red herring, shall we?

First off, it’s not true that Palin can’t win independents.

Palin won the governorship of Alaska quite handily. Almost two-thirds of Alaskans are not registered with a political party. They are … um, independent. (Kinda like a lot of the Rolling Thunder folks, Gov. Palin met last weekend). Alaska’s unique characteristics, including a 15% Native Alaskan population, "provide fertile ground for the emergence of candidates and ideas that at times appear to include the whole political spectrum," according to one study.

Hmmm … candidates and ideas that appeal to the whole political spectrum? That sorta sounds like Palin when she enjoyed an 88% approval rating in the summer of 2008 after passing bi-partisan legislation focusing on reforming government and developing energy resources.

Secondly, in all this talk about independents, let’s get real. There are very few actual "swing" voters. Most so-called independents tend to vote predominantly for one party or the other despite choosing not to affiliate formally with the party they usually vote for.

A recent report in Salon explained:

Rutgers political scientist David Redlawsk estimates that 5 million people voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and then voted for a Republican in 2010.

Boy, 5 million people! That is not even 6 percent of the entire voting electorate! (Or maybe even less, because the number of people who claim they voted for Obama is probably high.)


Truly independent voters are still mythical creatures. They exist in the imaginations of commentators who’ve spent most of their adult lives in Washington, D.C. Otherwise, the electorate is largely made up of Democratic voters and Republican voters. In this last election, more Republican voters showed up than Democratic voters. In 2008, the opposite was true.

Wait just a gosh darn minute! You’re telling me that this whole 2012 presidential election could just boil down to turnout? No freaking way! So basically the party that mobilizes more excited voters than the other wins? Unbelievable!

So, wait, um, doesn’t that suggest that we need a nominee who generates … like … actual enthuasiam? Wasn’t that why Palin was added to the ticket in 2008, because McCain generated so little enthusiasm among conservatives? Didn’t she generate that enthusiasm, attracting tens of thousands to rallies and raising tens of millions seemingly overnight, which was almost unheard of for a VP nominee?

And won’t the loosely-affiliated independent voters be so fed up with Obama by 2012 they’ll elect whomever is opposing him? So doesn’t that mean that whoever wins the GOP nomination, has a solid chance of being elected?

Howard Dean thinks so.

And what does it take to win a nomination? Oh yeah, base support. (Remember when Hillary and Barack were fighting for their base by seeing who could present the most liberal stance on Iraq and soaking it to the rich?) That’s what you DO in a primary. You appeal to your freaking BASE. Then you PIVOT to the middle for the general election. To suggest that someone should pivot to appeal to “independents” in primary season is rather ridiculous, don’t you think?

These idiots are arguing about winning over Democratic independents … while taking the conservatives and independent Tea Partiers for GRANTED.

So, next time you hear some GOP know-it-all professing that Palin could never win over independents, ask him/her if Mitt Romney can win over the base. Because if you want to become president, you first gotta convince your own side. (Sorry Mitt … manmade global warming and mandates aren’t gonna cut it on our side.) Then you can make your case to the other side. If you head into the general election with weak base support, you’re gonna lose. Because while the base may hold their noses to vote for you … they will never generate the enthusiasm you’ll need to carry the day.

Let’s all seriously try to imagine this many people greeting Romney at his next campaign rally.

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  • gahanson

    Most of these talking heads are really talking out of their a$$.

    Romney’s big event, complete with free barbeque, in SC a couple of weeks ago drew 40 people.

    The reason why the talk heads and their elite masters fear Palin can be seen in the picture you posted, and the pictures posted at the link below.

    • illegalpointofview

      Now that’s what I call inspiring. Imagine a Palin West campaign event

      • MaMcGriz

        Imagine a Palin West administration the stretches into four terms.

        How’s that for inspiring?

        PS, next day….
        I’ve received a response to this post, but it doesn’t appear here. I’ll respond anyway, although most of us actually ‘get it’ already.

        Yes, the Constitution prohibits any president from serving more than two terms, as you say. (Do you really think we’re that illiterate?)

        So is it coming to you yet? Think hard…..

        Two terms under President Palin, followed by two terms of her VP (in this example we’re talking about Lt. Col. West. This makes a total of four terms. Got it?

        The point being, it would serve our country well and go a long way toward reversing the costly damage we’ve suffered under ‘the great society’ and ‘freak freely’ agenda we’ve endured for so many years. True, 16 years is a lot less than the 5-plus decades it took to bring us to this point, but this is America. We overcome stuff.

        Color this mother bear "Solid for Sarah." (h/t Mark Levin!)

      • socon

        A Palin/West campaign–I can only dream.

  • Sarahistheone

    If Sarah doesmt run we lose! Does anyone want to lose? We must all take a stand for Sarah! Her interview with Hannity Friday night is awesome…watched it twice.

  • Nicole Olmstead Coulter

    I’m sorry but Cain and Bachmann have no chance once Palin declares. That is my gut feeling.

    • excopconservative

      They have no chance and Gov. Palin will need a united conservative base to defeat Romney and then Obama.  No need to create enemies where there should be friends.

    • Pete Petretich

      I’m still looking at the July 4th weekend for a final decision. That way she will dominate yet ANOTHER major national holiday. That will also mark two years since her resignation and look at all she’s accomplished!

      What do you think, Nicole?

    • PCR1

      If Bachmann declares, it will be in the hope or assumption that Palin will not run.

      For Bachmann it is all about 2016.

      She does not expect to be nominated, and she has absolutely no chance, but to gain name recognition benefiting from the media driven narrative of a race between her and Governor Palin.

      Also, it would benefit her if her running were to keep Sarah from being nominated, as if RomneyCare was to lose to Obama – and he would –  she would then have a much better chance at the nomination in 2016, especially, if as is likey to happen given that scenario, she was to run as RomneyCare’s VP choice.

      Then, she would be the "Palin" in 2016.

      Bachmann will probably run as she is betting that RomneyCare will get the nomination.

      It’s a losing bet, in my opinion, and one that will consign her to political limbo if Sarah runs, and beats Obama, as is the most likely outcome.

      Bachmann is no friend of Sarah, and she is all for Bachmann, gratitude be damned.

      Cain is not a serious candidate.


      Cain is Trump with a small – very small – "t".

  • LuvGuvSP

    You’re absolutely right!  Great analysis & I love the passionate, substantive, yet plain-spoken way you cut through all of the b.s.  Thank you. GAME ON!

  • Denise Muir

    There are lots of "Independents" who voted for Clinton in 2008 who support Sarah.  This is a surprisely large faction.

    • socon

      They’re the Hillary voters who were infuriated with Obama’s dirty tricks.  There are a lot of them, too.

  • illegalpointofview

    Nicole are you reading my mind!? can i get the Florida Powerball numbers while your at it.

  • Mr_Wednesday_Night

    When Nicole Coulter moves, she slices like a frickin’ hammer!

  • serfer62

    Neither Cain nor Bachmann is a "turd", they are conservative but they are lesser candidates.

    • Guest

      If Palin is the nominee, she’ll need all the help you can get….even from those you consider "turds".

  • Amen Baby

    Cain and Bachmann are not turds And that isn’t something Palin would say or feel about anyone.

    Curb your crap

    • blackbird

      I agree

  • heypiasano

    Once Sarah takes to the airwaves on a dailey basis, everyone will know what she knows. People are looking for a signal as to a vote of confidence in the American People and their own ability. 

    As Reagan said " Government is not the solution to our problems, Government is the Problem"

    This is taken from a Bloomberg article which summarises the American economy .

    Economic Recovery Is Languishing as Americans Await Signal of Better Times
    By Peter Coy – Jun 2, 2011 4:59 PM MTinShare26MorePrintEmail
    Play VideoJune 3 (Bloomberg) — John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, talks about the U.S. economy and Federal Reserve monetary policy. Silvia speaks from Charlotte, North Carolina, with Susan Li on Bloomberg Television’s "First Up." (Source: Bloomberg)In 1901,

    William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal launched a cartoon featuring two overly polite friends named Alphonse and Gaston. Each insisted with conspicuous courtesy that the other go first. Amid elaborate bowing, scraping, and apres-vous-ing, Alphonse and Gaston never managed to make it through an open doorway.

    Now, 110 years later, economists have a name for the Alphonse and Gaston routine that’s hobbling the U.S. economy: “coordination failure,”

    Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its June 6 edition. Companies won’t hire because customers won’t spend. Customers won’t spend because companies won’t hire. This stare-down has been going on since approximately December 2007, when the worst slump since the Great Depression took hold.

    Many Americans would like someone to make a move so they can get back to prosperity.

    Yet they’ve lost confidence in the actions that were designed to build confidence and restore growth –namely, near-zero overnight interest rates, the bailout of the financial system, a weakening dollar, and stimulus measures that add to the federal budget deficit and the national debt.

    Make no bones about it Sarah will provide that signal that everyone is looking for!

    • Guest

      Listening to the Sarah reports is like my Grandad’s stories of listening to the radio for the "voice of the resistance"

      • Red

        John has a long mustash.

  • JeannieBinVA

    Closing photo — closing sentence — deep, rumbling laughter shaking entire body for several minutes. Followed by chuckles. And more chuckles.

    Beautiful work, Nicole! 

    G’night everyone!! Up and at ‘em again tomorrow.

    • MaMcGriz

      ‘Night, JB!

      It’s great to have a good laugh just before bedtime.

      Sleep well.

  • TedTorgerson

    Most "persuadable" voters will be voting against Obama, not really for Palin. Palin doesn’t need to convince them she is the right one; she has to convince them Obama is the wrong one. She is then the only alternative. Re-election campaigns are always a referendum on the incumbent. Real GDP growth of 2%, Unemployment of 8.5% and inflation looming. Sounds like quite a witch’s brew. Poor poor Barry. He inherited a bad economy in 2012.

    • socon

      From himself!

  • Ryan

    Excellent Nicole! I guarantee with Palin at the top of the ticket, the crowds of people she will generate will extend all the way to the horizon. There won’t be grass or ground to be seen! The Democrats are to go wobbly on Obama the closer they get to November 2012.

  • Hyman Roth


  • militantfeather

    Re can Palin win independents and others? I agree with Nicole, and there is another aspect we probably know but can forget.
    You might be surprised how strongly her numbers like "Favs" or "Qualified’ could change in a general election. I know we aren’t yet in a general, but naturally her critics will play this up in the primaries … she is unelectable with independents etc. The reason for Nicole’s article I guess :).
    Naturally, this improvement is largely up to Sarah, her policies, her tactics and performance.
    But what we tend to forget to put in "perspective" because we live everyday actually seeing it and defending Sarah from republican critics is that the conservative media and pundits will support her strongly as soon as she is the nominee.
    The establishment made the decision to take her down back in the closing stages of the 2008 election (when all was lost). The establishment also has huge influence in the LSM. Without their explicit support the attacks by the MSM would not have have been anywhere so bad – they are influential directly (eg, Scarborough is a tool, and indirectly, eg, Politico’s hit pieces especially from Jonathon Martin are based on anonymous sources, insider info). They threw her under the bus.
    As soon as she is the nominee, that changes. We will see the most positive coverage from media we have ever seen or expected of Sarah – specifically the conservative media. But it will branch out and change the tone – and that will reach beyond the base, and it definitely will impact views of the independents or others that haven’t been watching closely.
    They will be on talk shows talking about her record, explaining her decision to resign, talking about her brilliance, her policies and her "gravitas". And in articles. They will do an excellent job, they always do.

    (I should point out Reagan was in the same postion too, the difference is the conservative reach in the media was not as strong – it was actually harder for him to get that change, and as it happened it was at the end of election according to probably rigged polls. This will not be the case with Sarah – it will start as soon as she is the nominee)

    Her "qualifieds" especially will go up. Her "favs" will go up.
    Remember these guys need to convince all republicans to vote for Sarah as well, so major changes of postion could be expected even from her most vocal critics. Lets face it, these people do the bidding for the establishment, and the establishment would far prefer to win than not, despite perhaps Jeb and Rove’s personal ambitions – they want to be in power and elected too.
    In a way she has FAR more room to grow as Presidential candidate than Romney etc, who if the nominee, will see their press coverage get worse, far worse than it is now. Sarah’s will get far better than it is now.
    Of course her policies, what she does, how well she does it, the economy etc are the major factors, but don’t worry about her favs and qualifieds too much, they will be pretty well where all the other candidates will be or have been in the past at similar early stages of the general election.
    Any attempts to portray her as unelectable are rubbish. Sarah just needs to run, and navigate the dificulties of the primaries of course. Easy as 1-2-3 for her :). She will go into an election in the same postion as any Republican with the anti-Obama vote, and she will do better than any other because she is by far the better politician.

    • Nicole Olmstead Coulter

      Good points … I think we will see some favorable press coverage for Palin before this is all over. The bottomline is that we hear so much about the mythical independent voter, but what these folks really are … they’re loosely affilitated Republicans and Democrats, and they don’t usually cross party lines, they mostly sit home when they don’t feel inspired to vote. Independents need a reason to vote. In 2008, the Democrat independents turned out more than the GOP independents who had grown sick of Bush. Combine this with the fact that some of the base stayed home in ’08, no wonder McCain lost.

      This crazy idea that there’s a significant portion of the electorate that flips parties every four years is wrong. Yes, there is a small percentage that do change their voting behavior, but quite often they’re completely changing their party ID, including Clinton Democrats who voted for McCain/Palin, and the celebrated Reagan Democrats (who actually turned into Republicans).

      It’s mainly about traditional turnout and mobilizing the party’s base. Independents tend to break for the change agent, far as I can tell.

      • militantfeather

        Good points too. Yeah, you are right it is all at the margin, it is an myth to talk about a huge unaffiliated group, and Sarah will do better than the others here for many reasons we have talked about.

        I do think many more democrats will turn out to vote for Obama if Palin is the nominee, but that too is offset by many more republicans turning out as well. She will fire them up, and the establishment will convince the rest.

        The McCain campaign was somewhat different when some republicans (the cocktail set) voted for Obama. They saw that Mccain was going to lose (it was very obvious), and they WANTED to vote for a historic black candidate to establish their cocktail set credentials. Some say they voted against Palin, but that would not be generally true at all. They also will vote Palin if she looks like she can win. If they don’t think she can win (the polls in the last few weeks), they may desert AGAIN. They have no ethics, it is obvious I think.

        • Nicole Olmstead Coulter

          Yeah, the squishes voted for Obama, but do you really think they represent more than 5% of the electorate? I still think Palin’s potential base is larger than Obama’s given the larger percentage of self-identified conservatives in the country.

          Moreover, when nominated, Palikn will suddenly become the historic candidacy … first woman nominated from a major party, and with a very good chance to become the first woman president. Many women will be inspired to vote, including in the 18-29 democraphic, many of whom might be inclined to vote for Democrats under normal circumstances.

  • independents4palin

    Well I am a Independent Voter who will vote for Sarah Palin, and I am a former Democrat, and I know there are more that will also. So when fake polls say she can’t win independents are fool of crap.

    • Dan C

      Thank You!

  • Quiet_Righty

    Flagged. Deal with it.

  • conservativemama

    I live in the DC metro area and while the economy is bad here, it’s not as bad as it is in the rest of the country.  Yet, people, everyday people have had it with Obama. 

    Yesterday I was in the doctor’s office, CNN on the TV, bad economic news and me commenting.  The two older women sitting with me were right there with me.  And we all agreed, why is bad economic news a "surprise" to our MSM?  Their frustration with our situation and our MSM was vocal.  I’m having this experience over and over again, whenever I start a conversation with anyone.  People are seething.

    Tonight Krauthammer was on a local show, Inside Washington.  Peddling his old Palin is not running, Bachmann is a great choice, blah, blah, blah.  Me biting my tongue.

    And then I read Larry Kudlow’s latest article in the Washington Examiner.  And in this article is his summation of the failure of QE2, and everything he said was wrong with it, is exactly what Palin said would happen, when she wrote and spoke about it MONTHS AGO!  Who else in the GOP was as clear as she was, as detailed as she was in her criticism of QE2?

    We need to put out there in some format, a juxtaposition of Palin’s prescient words on all issues with Obama’s failed words and actions.

    Let them choke on all that’s she said.  Let their heads explode when they finally, finally realize that she’s been right all along, on all issues.

    I’m frustrated, can you tell?

    • Pete Petretich

      When I got out of the U.S. Air Force in 1996 I had a Top Secret SBI security clearance so I kind of thought about moving to D.C. to look for a State Dept. job or something similar (since I’m a long-time C-SPAN junkie).

      Then I got more and more involved with my neighborhood, my parish, and my Cleveland Orchestra here on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio. This work never ends and grows deeper over the years.

      There’s still many things that I like about WDC, but I’m not sure I’d want to live there.

  • edward r clapp

    We must remember that the Rinos and Progressives are as one in Washington. While we the salt of the earth people were at home trying to make a living and get ahead, we took out eye off the ball and let them take over our lives one step at a time. They were giving us the impression of believing in different ways to govern when in fact they slowly worked together to suck the life out of our freedom. I believe that we must remove all the old establish lifers in 2012 before we can taste freedom again. Please vote for Freedom.

    • FrankinOhio

      Very well stated Edward!!! 

  • blackbird

    Thanks Nicole. I noticed the photo was named bigcrowd41.jpg if possible it would be great to see the rest of the bigcrowd photos. maybe Kelsey can whip up one of her carousels.

    • Kjanlady

      This link was posted below by gahanson…….lots of crowd photos

      • blackbird

        Thanks Kjanlady, 30,000 people as VP candidate what are the crowds going to look like when Sarah is the Presidential Candidate, I guess easily I million, what a sight that is going to be.

        • blueniner

          Sarah will draw like a Rock Star, she will be the sane and sober Jim Morrison, folks will come to see what Sarah will do next, what she will say. Morrison was an event, people came to see a man on the edge, and what will he say and do. He like Sarah had a love hate relationship with the media, they built him up and they tore him down, he loved to play mind games with media. Sarah has that kind of off script passion and she can scream like the Butterfly as well.
           Morrison used to like to yell at the crowd, "WAKE UP" Sarah is saying the same thing, wake up before its too late, and like Morrison she can command a stage, and an audience. We can get aboard THE BLUE BUS.

      • ReaganPalin

        Ooh, my wife and I were at the second photo in PA. We drove 3 hours from NJ. Sarah received the biggest ovation!

    • Nicole Olmstead Coulter

      Yeah, here’s a good collection of them. H/t GAhanson keep quite a few of these photos saved to my hard-drive. Whenever the GOP Establishment starts yapping about "Palin is unelectable" I simply look at the crowds. Last I checked, people who attend your rallies usually vote for you.

      • blackbird

        Thanks Nicole, I too have a Sarah folder on my hard drive. When Sarah becomes the Republican candidate for President where is she going to hold her rallies, the optics are going to be unreal.

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