“Mike Huckabee has a warning for Sarah Palin: Don’t abandon the Republican Party,” said Alexander Mooney in CNN. Huckabee said on Fox News that he is worried by recent speculation that Palin is considering leaving the GOP to become an independent, sparked by her comments that she will raise money for conservative candidates regardless of party affiliation. He urged Palin not to “go third party or go independent,” but to “help rebuild” the GOP.

Huckabee could be genuinely worried, said Allahpundit in Hot Air, or he could be trying to “plant a seed of doubt” about a potential 2012 rival’s commitment to the GOP. If Palin ran for president as a third-party candidate, it would be bad for Republicans. But a Palin bid for the Republican nomination “would absolutely ruin Huckabee’s” chances—he’d “bleed evangelical support.”

With an increasing number of “GOP elites” coming out against her, said Patrick Glenn in PoliGazette, egged on by “vicious, dishonest attacks” from the “progressive political and media elites,” who could blame Palin for distancing herself from the party? Besides, saying she’s open to supporting conservative Democrats could be smart politics, setting her up to be the “anti-establishment voice for the middle class and tea party voters” in 2012.

First Palin has to win over a surprising constituency: Republican voters, said Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post. A new CBS poll has only 33 percent of Republicans saying she’d make an “effective” president, compared with 30 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats. Before she reverses those numbers nationwide, she has to prove to her “most loyal constituency” that she’s serious enough to lead.