CNN has a story about Mike Huckabee warning Sarah Palin not to leave the Republican Party for an independent presidential campaign.
"I hope she remains — let me be real clear — a part of the Republican Party," Huckabee told FOX News. "I'm a little concerned when I hear her say that she mayThe Republican Party would be fools if they didn't consider Palin a threat to mount an independent candidacy. She's just not that Republican identified. Palin has never been part of the Alaska Republican establishment and her husband Tod was a member of an Alaskan separatist party until Palin ran for governor. Likewise, Palin recently mentioned that her son was not a Republican.
sort of branch out and go third party or go independent. That would be a big mistake because we need to rebuild the Republican Party, not abandon it."
In this context, Palin's reference to campaigning for non-Republicans might be taken as meaning that she'll be willing to help candidates to the right of the Republican Party.
Anyway, if Sarah Palin left the Republican Party for an independent or third-party candidacy, she'd take about 20% of the Republican vote with her, about 9% of the total.
That vote would increase if activist conservatives generally saw her as a more attractive candidate than a Republican nominee like Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee.
And let's not kid ourselves.
There's a real chance that Bill Kristol, Ann Coulter, Limbaugh and other conservatives might do that. They could easily see an independent Palin candidacy as an opportunity to free "the conservative movement" from what they see as the death grip of the Republican Party.
I could live with it too.
With an independent Palin candidacy, the Republican candidate and Palin would be splitting about 40% of the vote. I imagine that one or the other would win eight or nine states between Utah, Idaho, and the core Confederate states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
That wouldn't even be 100 electoral votes and the conservative movement will have succeeded in it's apparent mission of destroying conservativism in the United States.