It looks like the GOP has a hostage-taking situation of its own -- Fox says a new Rasmussen poll her fan base is threatening to bolt the GOP if she doesn't win the nomination:
Nearly half of the Republican Primary voters who support Sarah Palin say they are at least somewhat likely to vote for a third-party candidate if she does not win the GOP presidential nomination.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of Likely Republican Primary Voters who favor Palin say they are at least somewhat likely to vote third-party if she isn't nominated. That includes 22% who say it is Very Likely.
Rasmussen also says that one-third of GOP primary voters say Palin is the nominee they'd least like to see at the top of the GOP ticket. So at the same time that Palin backers are threatening to bolt if she isn't the nominee, a huge chunk of the party is saying they really don't want Palin as their nominee.
These are the kind of results that keep GOP insiders awake at night, dreaming up ways to get Palin to stay on the sidelines for 2012. But even though they might not want her to run, as Nate Silver pointed out, the decision by Mike Pence to forego the 2012 presidential race was great news for Palin -- Pence appealed to social, religious, and economic conservatives and would have presented a real threat to Palin.
Of course, this is a Rasmussen poll, and in surveys of the public at large, their methodology biases their results in favor of Republicans. But this isn't a survey of the public at large, it's of GOP primary voters, so it's not clear whether or how their methodology biases results. Whatever the case, even if these numbers are off by 10 or 15 percent, it's still a big problem for the GOP.