A poll of GOP insiders suggests that ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has little support among the party's professional class -- and maybe that's just how she wants it.
In a survey of 109 party leaders, political professionals and pundits, Palin finished 5th on the list of candidates most likely to win the party's '12 WH nomination. Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) was the overwhelming choice of the
Voters were asked to rank 5 candidates in the order of likeliness to capture the GOP nod. The results:
Likely To Win WH'12 Nomination (First place votes)
Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney 81 points (62%)
MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty 46 (9%)
Sen. John Thune 38 (12%)
MS Gov. Haley Barbour 28 (6%)
IN Gov. Mitch Daniels 25
Ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin 25
And it's clear that Palin is aligning herself with the Tea Partiers, eschewing the annual CPAC convention and instead lining herself up to speak at the Tea Party convention instead. Of course, as Dave Weigel reports, it doesn't hurt that the latter is a much better-paying gig:
“I’d speculate that Palin’s making at least $35,000 or $50,000, with $50,000 being more likely” said Eric Odom, executive director of the American Liberty Alliance, which is doing a promotional exchange for the convention. “I mean, Glenn Beck charges $60,000, $70,000 and a private jet.” He wasn’t planning this part of the convention, but he supported the Palin booking and argued that the convention was “as grassroots as it gets.”
Still, no one disputes that Palin is getting a healthy fee for appearing at the conference — and that’s a big difference between this and CPAC.
“We don’t pay honorarium, travel or hotel expenses for any speakers, past or future,” said Lisa de Pasquale, the director of CPAC.
While the cheapest ticket to the Tea Party Convention–one that doesn’t include the final banquet and dinner speech from Palin–costs $349, a basic CPAC ticket costs $175.
In other Palin news, we also learn from Politico that her debate coaches feared they were headed for an "epic debacle." It wasn't, of course, so "not a debacle" is now the standard for a successful GOP performance.