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I know it's a little tricky to do an "alternate history" scenario on an election that hasn't taken place yet, but bear with me.

So, word comes out today that Sarah Palin will be releasing a book on November 17th titled "Going Rogue: An American Life". Aside from the obvious comments to make about such a book, the wishful-thinking side of me (full disclosure: I'm an ardent Democrat) is really, really hoping that she really "goes rogue" in 2012, and runs as an independent. While I think that possibility is sufficiently lunatic to be impossible to include in any sort of "plain vanilla" 2012 scenario (as Paul Volcker might say), I do think that it would be interesting to make a sort of "alternate future" version. Presumably it would be rather challenging to win this scenario as either Palin or an official Republican. Probably it would be pretty simple to make; just remove Palin from the GOP field and add her as her own party.

Which also makes me think of another interesting point: as I understand it, you set the values for all candidates or parties, and if they sum up to more than 100%, the computer basically just shrinks them, linearly, so they have an appropriate sum. So, for instance, you could set the Democrats to lead the Republicans 60-40 in a given state, and then have an optional third party at 20%, and if you turned the third party on the numbers would shrink to 50%-33%-17%. But suppose there were a state where, say, Obama '12 and GOP '12 were tied, 50%-50%, you wanted to have Palin '12 as an Independent as an option. In real life, adding Palin to the mix would take away almost exclusively from the Republican tally; as best I can tell, the way the game actually does it, the two main parties would still be tied. Any way to make this sort of thing more realistic? Thanks!

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Right... that kind of ties into the thing about how it would also be nice if you could give a defeated candidate the option of forming an independent party, or maybe even letting the designer set a candidate to pull a Strom if they lose. Otherwise you would just need a house rule, stipulate that she doesn't win the primary, or something...

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Perhaps Ralph Reed? He's had political ambitions over the last few years.

I think Ralph Reed might be a good choice, and another might be some of the more far-right teabagger Republicans out there, like Jim DeMint or really either Senator from Oklahoma.

As for the name of the party, there are several that might work. Red Dog's suggestion of course, but then there's also some suggestions I could give like: "Families First Party", "American Values Party", "Freedoms and Values Party", "Mooseburger Party" :P However, because of the problems in forming your own party, Independent might be better unless she had done it and gotten ballot access before the primaries.

A good crusader for her might be Bill Kristol who had been one of her earliest supporters for VP.

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Just played through a test-run on a less-than-ideal scenario base, playing as Obama. I ended up winning 41% of the popular vote, which came with all Obama states minus North Carolina plus Texas and Missouri; Romney took something like 33% and about 110 EVs, and Palin got 26% and a few dozen electors. Sounds kind of like 1912, which is how I imagine this would play out in real life.

I think my house rule would just be, if you want to do primaries, you just have to accept the fact that the lack of Palin as a primary candidate is slightly unrealistic.

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I think that Palin would probably get a little bit less of that vote, probably more in the 18-22 range. Because she generally appeals a lot more to the right-wing base that would probably be around 30% or so, but I think many of those would choke back the vomit and vote for Romney because there are so many people of course who refuse to vteo fo an independent because they think the major party candidates have a better chance of winning, and there is always one they would prefer over the other.

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One idea I have it to make more of Palin's supporters Committed and fewer Undecided. One thing this does is it makes her fade later in the game, which is an observed phenomenon with third-party candidates. But yeah, I think she might need a little bit of toning down... Also, does anyone know how to get creative with the "alienated" percentage? Like, what can one do with it? Because I've literally never seen it used at all, and after all, well, Palin's got a lot of people alienated...

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I think that Palin would probably get a little bit less of that vote, probably more in the 18-22 range. Because she generally appeals a lot more to the right-wing base that would probably be around 30% or so, but I think many of those would choke back the vomit and vote for Romney because there are so many people of course who refuse to vteo fo an independent because they think the major party candidates have a better chance of winning, and there is always one they would prefer over the other.

Even 18-22% would be too high, IMHO, although it should be possible to do that well (or maybe better). It's different if you've got, say, a Perot-style candidate who tries to appeal to both sides of politics. But with Palin taking votes exclusively from the Republicans, it strikes me that the average GOP voter would definitely side with Romney. Remember, Romney's not exactly unpopular with the Republicans - it's more a case of people having a couple of qualms. In real life, a Palin candidacy would probably garner 10-15% if Obama was on top, and about 3-4% if the contest was close (because the defection rate would decrease as the likelihood of a Republican victory increased). And if the GOP candidate were Jindal - well, he's very conservative, so I'm sure many Palin supporters would also take a liking to him.

Of course, there has to be a balance between real life and actually making an entertaining game. ;) So 15-20% might well make for a better game than only a tiny proportion.

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