Would Reagan have been able to win in 2012? Does that mean Palin can't?

Conservatives4Palin has done a great job digging up an old article of Times Magazine in which they claimed Reagan to be unelectable, and rewrote a nice chunk of it substituting Reagan with Palin.

The end result is so strikingly familiar to today’s media arguments, one’s impression is that it was truly written in regard to Palin. When discovering that it’s actually from March of 1980, it takes the monster of a fear regarding electability and exposes it as the illusion and distortion it truly is.

Here’s the C4P rewrite of the article:

For several decades, it has been an article of faith among politicians and political analysts that no candidate can win a U.S. presidential election unless he can dominate the broad center of the spectrum, that all candidates on the edges of the left or right are doomed. Barry Goldwater’s “extremism . . . is novice” campaign of 1964 provides the classic evidence, reinforced by George McGovern’s 1972 defeat in 49 out of 50 states. And since G.O.P. Front Runner Sarah Palin relies upon a base of support that is on the far right wing of the Republican Party, some experts have long declared that if she wins the nomination, the G.O.P. would simply be repeating the suicidal Goldwater campaign.


National opinion polls continue to show Obama leading Palin by an apparently comfortable margin of about 25%. They also show that more moderate Republicans like Romney would run better against the President. This suggests that Palin is not the strongest G.O.P. choice for the 2012 election and that she clearly faces an uphill battle.


If popular unhappiness with domestic and world problems finally comes to rest at Obama’s doorstep, voters may begin to see all sorts of previously invisible virtues in Sarah Palin.


Palin cannot hope to win, however, unless she moves beyond the hard-line conservative base that has sustained her since she first appeared on the national political scene as a spokesman for McCain himself. She has no experience in Washington politics or foreign affairs. Both Congress and the federal bureaucracy are as unfathomable to her as they were to Obama. Indeed one of Palin’s major supporters in the Senate notes that the Alaskan is uncomfortable even visiting Washington.


Worse perhaps than the verbal gaffe is Palin’s relentlessly simple-minded discussion of complex problems.

You can read the entire original Times article over here.

Over a year has passed since the rewrite, and the media as well as many on the right are still obsessed with the electability issue. Their actions and attitude is quite surprising, given the fact that Reagan appeared to have greater chances in being unelectable than Palin and still managed to beat Carter.

I have therefore searched in vain for the poll that would put Palin in a spot worse than Reagan stood in 1980. This is so even though it’s still 2011 – over a year before the elections and before an official Palin campaign has begun, while the Times Magazine article above was written in March on 1980 – about 8 months before the election and with Reagan already as the Republican nominee.

Additionally, Reagan didn’t just have one poll with such a tremendous gap between him and Carter; it was the national average, as stated in the article. Nonetheless he won with 50.7% of the votes while Carter received only 40%.

Furthermore, Reagan wasn’t an unknown individual running for president whom the voters haven’t heard of yet and were waiting to hear from.

The Times Magazine article and his campaign came after his serving as Governor for many years and having already attempted two presidential runs, in ’68 and in ’76.He thus had plenty of name recognition and most people had already formed an opinion regarding him. Despite it all, he became the 40th president of the United States of America.

Regarding the large percentage of people with a negative opinion on Palin and the media’s constant bashing of Palin which has caused most of negatively formed opinions, Reagan too has come under the hateful attacks as seen in this very article which is only one out of hundreds written at that time. Only when the public got to hear directly from Reagan at the debates and through campaign ads did opinions shift in favor of Reagan.

So in response to the supposedly strongest proof in the “Palin is unelectable” refrain, that the voters already have formed their opinion regarding her and won’t change that opinion; that is precisely the same disadvantage Reagan had. It is an argument that has been proven wrong in the past, and can be proven wrong again.

Poll Insider had a great piece which proved just how faulty the above argument with their explanation of Palin as “an unknown known”. This is so because although just about everybody in this country has heard about and formed an opinion on Palin, many have based it upon lies spread by the media and their likes such as Tina Fey’s “I can see Russia from my house” which is still believed by many that Palin had said it.

In a previous article I’ve written, after the release of Palin’s emails titled; Governor Palin’s good governing record doesn’t matter just like Obama’s awful record doesn’t matter, I discussed in detail the media’s hatred towards Palin which painted a distorted picture in the minds of so many. Thus, once people will be exposed to the truth about Sarah Palin many voters can and will have a change of mind regarding Palin.

In fact, many that have searched through her emails and viewed the new movie “The Undefeated” have already expressed their amazement at the real Sarah Palin which the media had buried under mountains of falsehood.

There’s one question those that argue Palin is unelectable have to answer; why don’t all of you who are constantly writing columns and posts all across the blogosphere, in newspapers, and magazines quote the above Times Magazine article and then explain in what aspect Palin differs from Reagan that makes her “truly” unelectable?

Palin’s poll figures are now better than Reagan’s had been in March of 1980 and she still has much more time than he had until the elections to increase her positive ratings.

It’s true Palin is a known figure that has to overcome the negative perception the media has painted of her to the public. It’s also true that the above is a perfect description of Reagan in the midst of his campaign.

The media seeked to destroy Reagan with a passion, though their hate for Sarah surpasses all previous politicians as seen in their attacks against her and her family.  Reagan however couldn’t circumvent the media as is possible today. To counteract the media, she has all the social media networking tools to outsmart them and her unconventional acts such as her bus tour, which Reagan didn’t have.

The entire un-electability claim has been created because her outstanding record left those that oppose her without anything else to throw at her. These “unelectable dooms predictors” continue to raise their voices in constant repetition of the same argument despite the fact that it’s losing ground with each passing day.

Why is necessary to bring endless “proofs” each day anew to prove their argument?

Perhaps because Palin’s record has proven that she can win despite having been “unelectable” in the past when she ran for city council, Mayor, and the Governorship of Alaska, that the David Frum’s of this universe feel compelled to repeat their claims in the hope of it materializing.

After all, they have already been proven wrong in 1980 and simply can’t afford to be in the wrong again.

Abie Rubin blogs at TheThinkingVoter.blogspot.com and can be followed on twitter.