Perhaps Sarah Palin's advisers have a right to be upset about the former Alaska governor's media coverage these days. As FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver reports, press coverage of Palin has been on the decline in recent months. She's now getting only one-fifth the press coverage she did last fall.
Silver notes that Palin's declining coverage coincides with her falling polling numbers among voters but also with the rise of Donald Trump's potential candidacy. But what Silver doesn't mention—and could also be a factor—is Palin's decision to take a lower profile in the aftermath of what even some of her employers derided as her flubbed response to media coverage of January's deadly Tucson shooting.
While she's continued to make occasional appearances on Fox News, Palin has declined several high-profile speaking gigs in recent months, including a coveted spot at February's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Instead, she stuck around Alaska, where she attended her husband Todd's Iron Dog snowmobile race. She also packed her schedule with paid speeches, most of which were closed to the press.
In March, she edged into the spotlight again, traveling to India, where she gave a paid speech at business conference in New Dehli but largely eschewed reporters. She tacked on a visit to Israel, where she met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but, again, gave little access to the media.
Palin's most high-profile foray back into the public eye was her speech last weekend at a Wisconsin tea party rally, which apparently didn't garner the press coverage one of her advisers had hoped for.
Silver's implication is that media coverage boosts a 2012 candidate's stock with GOP voters--which is no doubt a possibility given Trump's surge in recent presidential polls. But the candidate who gets more media coverage doesn't always win. Just ask John McCain about the 2000 GOP primary or Howard Dean about the 2004 campaign. More than anything, the stats seem to be more of an indication of the volatility of the Republican electorate and the wide open GOP field heading into next year's primary.
(Graphic courtesy FiveThirtyEight)