Party Out of Bounds
New polling data suggest that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is not particularly popular among New Hampshire Republicans. A plurality of Granite State Republicans polled believes that she is not qualified to serve as president (47 percent) and should not run for the Republican nomination (42 percent). This should not come as a great surprise to local political observers, as social and religious conservatives typically do not poll well in the Northeast, and especially in New England, where someone as polarizing as Palin would only exacerbate this trend.
But, given what I wrote yesterday about the coming conflict between institutional elites and movement conservatives in the Republican Party, these data underscore the potential for New Hampshire to take on even greater significance in the next presidential election cycle as the launching pad for the candidate who emerges as the party’s countervailing force against movement conservatism. Romney did well here in 2008, and he has quietly retooled in ways that dovetail nicely with this narrative, but it is of course way too early to know whether it would be Mitt v2.0 or someone who is not yet visible on New Hampshire’s political radar screen.

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