The Fast Fix: Palin pales compared to Perry, Romney

Chris Cillizza

Sarah Palin could still run for president in 2012, but if she did, would it even matter?

Sarah Palin continues to keep people guessing about whether she'll run for president next year.   But, even if she runs she will be a second-tier candidate.

In a new CNN poll, Palin received 7 percent in a 2012 primary ballot test -- the same amount of support that businessman Herman Cain and Texas Congressman Ron Paul received and well behind frontrunning Texas Gov. Rick Perry who took 28 percent.

That same poll showed just 51 percent of Republicans thought Palin possessed the character traits to be president, compared to 73 percent for Perry, and 83 percent for Romney!

Palin's standing in polls has fallen considerably in the last few months, largely due to Perry's candidacy, which has robbed the former Alaska governor of many of her committed tea party supporters.

Allies of Palin point out that she is not yet in the race and, if she does decide to run, many Republican voters on the fence about her right now will rally to her side.

Maybe. But, it's hard to imagine that anyone -- Republican, Democrat or Independent -- hasn't already formed an opinion about Palin, making it tough for her to re-introduce herself to people as a presidential candidate.

Palin has proven uniquely gifted at surprising the political world. But her political bag of tricks looks empty these days.

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