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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Could Sarah Palin make a political comeback in 2014? That is the goal of the Tea Party Leadership Fund, which is trying to draft the former vice-presidential candidate to run against Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) in his 2014 re-election campaign.

The group revealed its plan in an email sent to supporters this week. “You and I both know that Sarah Palin is a fighter who will stand up to Harry Reid and his pals in the Senate to protect our Constitution in issues like amnesty, gun control and our nation’s crushing debt,” the email reads, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. “We know that, with Sarah in the Senate, conservatives across America can rest a little easier at night knowing that she’s at the watch.”

So far, Palin has shown no indication that she is interested in challenging Begich — in fact, she has shown very little interest in Alaska politics at all since resigning as the state’s governor in 2009 to move to Arizona and pursue a career as a right-wing talking head.

If Palin were to jump into the race, it would be the best political news in weeks for Begich. The first-term Democrat has recently seen his approval ratings drop as a consequence of his vote to block the expansion of gun sale background checks, against the wishes of a majority of Alaskan voters.

Palin would be unlikely to present much of a political threat, however. A February Public Policy Polling poll found that Begich would crush Palin 54 to 38 percent in a hypothetical Senate matchup, and that just 34 percent of Alaskans had a favorable opinion of their former governor, while 59 percent viewed her unfavorably. Worse yet, when asked whether they have a higher opinion of Palin or Congress, Alaskans chose Congress by a 50 to 34 percent margin — despite Congress’ pathetic 8 percent favorability rating in the state.

“I don’t see Governor Palin really as a likely opponent,” Anchorage pollster Matt Larkin of Dittman Research — which worked for Palin’s gubernatorial campaign — told the Los Angeles Times. “She doesn’t have the popularity that she once had in the state of Alaska; it’s fallen off significantly.”

So, despite the Tea Party Leadership Fund’s hopes, Palin seems unlikely to get the chance to prove herself to be as unqualified for the legislative branch as she is for the executive or judiciary. Until further notice, expect bitter tweets to remain her primary contribution to the political process.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

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