As Sarah Palin takes significant steps to potentially enter the Republican primary for President in 2012, Politico’s Arena asked Jeff Smith whether Michelle Bachmann poses a real threat to Palin’s chances to capture the nomination.
Here’s Jeff’s reply:
Both parties have a primary within a primary in presidential elections. Democrats have a shot-and-a-beer versus wine-and-cheese primary, with the long-term trend favoring the wine-and-cheese candidate (Clinton and Gore representing the former type, Kerry and Obama the latter). Republican primaries have a similar structure, the culture warriors vs. the blue-blood establishment. Bachmann and Palin represent the former while Romney and Huntsman are pure blue-bloods.
To become the nominee, 1) you need to be the leading candidate in your mini-primary and 2) you want fewer people in your mini-primary than the other mini-primary.