According to the findings of a new Rasmussen Reports national survey, nearly half (46 percent) of Likely Republican Primary Voters who support Sarah Palin for president say they are at least somewhat likely to vote third-party if she isn’t nominated by the GOP. 22 percent of them say it is Very Likely:
That puts the GOP in a tight spot since one-third (33%) of all likely primary voters say Palin is the front-runner they least hope wins the party’s presidential nomination.Update: Just for the record, Gov. Palin has said that she believes that the GOP, not a third party, is the best channel for Tea Party activists to use to accomplish their goals. Gov. Palin is a loyal Republican -- she always has been one. So she will most likely support whomever the GOP nominates for president if that candidate is not her.
Among all likely Republican Primary voters, 35% say they are at least somewhat likely to vote for a third-party candidate if their favorite candidate doesn’t win the nomination, with 13% who are Very Likely to do so. Most GOP Primary voters (56%) still say they are unlikely to vote for a third-party candidate if their favorite does not win the nomination, with 27% who say it’s not at all likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
While the third-party feeling runs strongest among Palin supporters, 35% of those who support former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee feel that way, including 13% who say they are Very Likely to vote third-party if he doesn’t get the nomination. Among those who back former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, 31% say a third-party vote is likely, but only nine percent (9%) say it’s Very Likely.
Unlike Sarah Palin, however, your editor has never been a member of the Republican Party. The only political party I have ever registered under was the Democrat Party, back in my "New Democrat" days. When the New Democrats proved to be the Old Democrats with a different name, I changed my voter registration to independent. Although I have voted Republican for more than two decades, I've never trusted the GOP enough to sign up as a member. To this very day, the Republican Party has not shown me that it takes its own political platform seriously, and it continues to allow certain of its members to viciously attack good Reagan conservatives like Gov. Palin. When the GOP officially condemns such attacks and pledges to support its own platform, I may reconsider joining it.
So count me among those Palin supporters who "may" vote third party if the governor is not its nominee for president in 2012. If another Reagan conservative such as Sen. Jim DeMint is nominated, I'll support him. But I refuse to go into a voting booth and hold my nose again while marking the ballot for a Vichy Republican. If the nominee is a Conservative Lite or any other kind of Vichy Republican, I'll take a look at who the third parties have nominated. If there is a suitable Reagan conservative among those nominees, my support will go to him or to her. If not, I'll likely write in Gov. Palin's name on my ballot.
I'm a Reagan conservative, not a Republican. I owe the party of Bush, Dole and Frum nothing. That I am not a member of the GOP is the party's fault, not mine. And if some people are not happy with that attitude, then that's their problem, not mine.