CBS News analyzes Sarah Palin's dada strategy of showing up wherever actual Republican candidates are, and quotes former Huckabee/Pawlenty strategist Eric Woolson to make the case that this stuff works.
[S]ome think that Palin's star power, mixed with her savvy in new media and grassroots networking, could give her the leverage she needs to run a viable - if unorthodox -campaign.
"She's got a knack for drawing attention to herself and getting terrific amount of media coverage," Woolson says. "If that spotlight is somewhere else, I think she just has a real ability to be able to draw the media and voters' attention back to her again."
Woolson pointed to Palin's "One Nation" tour stop in Iowa, where, despite neither being on the straw poll ballot nor participating in the Republican debate, the former governor soaked up more than her due of attention, holding court with reporters for hours and diverting attention from her fellow Republicans.
It's working, huh? Here's the last Public Policy Polling survey of Iowa from June.
Mitt Romney - 21%
Sarah Palin - 15%
Herman Cain - 15%
Newt Gingrich - 12%
Michele Bachmann - 11%
Tim Pawlenty - 10%
Ron Paul - 8%
Jon Huntsman - 0%
According to PPP, Palin had a 59/31 favorable rating with Republicans in Iowa. After that was taken, she dive-bombed into Pella for the premiere of a documentary about her (remember that?) and toured the Iowa State Fair.
And here's the new PPP poll of Iowa if Palin is included.
Rick Perry - 21% (+21)
Mitt Romney - 18% (-3)
Michele Bachmann - 15% (+4)
Ron Paul - 12% (+4)
Sarah Palin - 10% (-5)
Newt Gingrich - 7% (-5)
Herman Cain - 6% (-9)
Rick Santorum - 5% (+5)
John Huntsman - 3% (+3)
Palin's sunk from second place to fourth and is now behind Ron Paul. Her favorable rating has fallen to 52/36, also lower than Paul's. One almost gets the impression that Palin's dithering and attention seeking isn't actually a brilliant rope-a-dope strategy.
The rest of the poll's worth reading -- in a Palin-less race it has Paul doubling his support to 16 percent, Bachmann's favorable numbers falling rapidly, and Santorum with slightly higher favorables, on net, than Romney.