A conservative political scientist and historian believes Sarah Palin will have the advantage among the field of GOP presidential hopefuls when the Iowa caucuses begin a little more than a year from now -- but adds that doesn't guarantee she'll win the nomination.
Last week ABC News aired an interview of the former Alaska governor by Barbara Walters. During that interview, Palin made it very clear she is strongly considering a run for president in 2012.
Palin: "I'm looking at the lay of the land now and trying to figure that out, if it's a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family...." Walters: "If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?" Palin: "I believe so."
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Dr. Charles W. Dunn is dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University. He believes Palin would be strong out of the gate.
"Sarah Palin has the advantage going into Iowa," he opines. "That electorate is dominated by evangelical Christians -- anywhere from a third to a half of the Iowa GOP electorate. She has an organization there." But Dunn says Palin also has some significant liabilities. "She's not demonstrated the seriousness of purpose.
[And] she's not taken the vocal training that she should," he suggests. "She comes off more like a high school cheerleader rather than a serious aspirant for the Republican presidential nomination." Dunn says whether Palin or any other GOP candidate can beat Barack Obama will depend in large part on what Obama does over the next two years.
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