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Sarah Palin, Republican frontrunner?

"Now that the GOP hopefuls are flaming out, is Sarah the savior?" asked David Gibson in BeliefNet. A new Pew poll shows Palin well ahead of Mitt Romney—and all others—among Republicans, with 73 percent favoring her as opposed to 57 percent for Romney. So maybe Palin's the early favorite to challenge President Obama in 2012, but Republicans should think hard—the poll also shows that "Palin is still a very divisive figure among the general public, and it's hard to believe her ongoing soap opera of a life and problematic tenure in Alaska wouldn't hurt."

Sarah Palin's strong favorable rating among Republicans is impressive, said Jim Barnes in National Journal's Hotline. But don't count out Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor gained ground, especially among self-identified independents. Palin has a slightly higher favorable rating overall (44 percent to Romney's 40 percent), but Romney's unfavorable rating of 28 percent gives him an edge over Palin, who is viewed unfavorably by 44 percent overall.

Sarah Palin won't win based on her popularity, said Jay Bookman in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She has to recognize "that her background as a small-town mayor and governor of an isolated state with fewer citizens" than many cities "prepared her poorly for the major national and international issues of the day. If she "does the remedial work" to get up to speed, "she can be a real player" on the national stage.

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