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Daily Fix Poll: Could Sarah Palin win Iowa?

By Felicia Sonmez

The news that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) is making her first trip back to Iowa this month since she visited the state in December 2009 as part of her book tour has sent speculation of a potential Palin 2012 presidential run into overdrive.

Of course, right now no one -- perhaps not even Palin herself -- knows whether she's actually planning on making a bid. (And in fact, much of the chatter among Palin-watchers appears to point to the likelihood that she won't run.) But one question worth pondering is whether the former Alaska governor would have a shot at winning the Hawkeye State's first-in-the-nation caucuses in the first place.

As The Fix detailed yesterday, social conservatives are a hugely influential group in Iowa Republican politics. They fueled former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's (R) come-from-behind win in 2008 and made a significant showing in this year's gubernatorial primary. Should Palin run, she could be just the candidate that appeals to social conservatives in the state.

But Palin hasn't put a lot of time, energy or money into building a ground game in Iowa -- something that's essential for any candidate who wants to compete in the state. If she runs, she'll also likely have to contend with a number of other candidates who could appeal to social conservatives, including Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). And while 2012 is a long way off, recent polling suggests that she would trail behind other potential White House hopefuls.

Could Palin's star power make up for those deficits? Does she stand a chance of winning? And does her fortune depend on who else is in the field? Cast your vote below.

By Felicia Sonmez  | September 1, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Daily Fix Poll  
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