Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake take a look at some harsh poll numbers for Sarah Palin and try to isolate their cause.
Some guess her fall started with her controversial response to the Arizona shootings. Others say it started when she resigned as governor.
I think both contributed, and that there's a third big explanation: the November elections.
Palin seemed to peak in the run-up, when high-profile, polarizing tea party candidates like Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle were shocking the establishment and winning big primaries.
Then November 2 happened and polarizing candidates -- like Palin would supposedly be -- suffered in the general election.
The GOP failed to retake the Senate, and Republicans started worrying about electability again. And electability -- as polls have shown -- doesn't favor Palin.
I think there's one more cause of Palin's star fading with Republicans -- her highly-emotional defensiveness to any criticism, including that from figures like Karl Rove.
I've been blogging this race very closely for over two years, and can't find any empiric for this, off-hand, but there's been a growing willingness among conservatives to question Palin's chops and risk the wrath of their readers and followers for doing so. And I'm not talking about the two David's -- Frum and Brooks. I'm talking about people like Charles Krauthammer, Chris Christie, Bill Kristol, Bill O'Reilly and more.
Palin can still come back, but it's going to require exactly the thing she was supposed to do after November 2008 -- study hard, eschew petty attacks, show more discipline, and engage with people not named Sean Hannity.
Only problem is that she had three years to do it after she resigned. Now, she's going to need to do it in just three months.