Palin Fundraiser, Possible Home Purchase Fuels Speculation of 2012 Run

May 23, 2011

With the GOP 2012 pack losing several big names following no-go announcements for Mitch Daniels, Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took a bold step toward a possible presidential bid this week.

Palin has sent out some 400,000 direct-mail fundraising letters targeting voters in several early primary states – a move sure to get pundits’ tongues wagging. Also, on Sunday news broke that she may have purchased a home in Arizona, which could provide her a “Lower 48” base not only for a presidential bid but also a possible Senate campaign in 2012, both Fox News and the Arizona Republic reported.

Confirmation of a Palin house purchase in Scottsdale likely would rekindle chatter about whether Palin might run a political campaign out of Arizona, the home state of U.S. Sen. John McCain, who plucked her from relative political obscurity in 2008 to be his vice-presidential running mate, the Republic speculated Sunday.

Palin has been rumored to be considering headquartering her 2012 White House campaign, if there is one, in Scottsdale. She also has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

Just last month, Palin launched a new website for her PAC with significantly ramped-up content and features, including the ability to capture email and other information so useful in political fundraising.

A new Suffolk University poll conducted after Trump and Huckabee withdrew indicates Palin would be a strong contender if she decides to run. Romney was the No. 1 choice of Republican primary voters, with 20 percent. But Palin placed second at 12 percent. That compares to just 4 percent each for Rep. Michele Bachman and talk host and businessman Herman Cain.

Despite Palin’s high negatives among some voter demographics, analysts recognize her ongoing ability to wield power and influence with the GOP faithful.

Longtime GOP political strategist Roger Stone tells Newsmax that a Palin candidacy would immediately alter the dynamics of the race.

“I don’t think she’s going to run, but I think it would be a mistake to underestimate her potential to really change the race,” he says. “I think she could galvanize conservatives and suck-up a lot of oxygen on the right as an alternative to [former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt] Romney, who’s acting more and more like the establishment candidate every day.”

Democratic pollster and Fox News commentator Doug Schoen appears to concur that Palin remains a force to be reckoned with.

““She has followers and a base,” Schoen observes. “What she needs now is a compelling message why she should be president. It remains to be seen if she can really do it.”

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