Although the Republican wingnuts nationally are turning away from Palin and toward Huckabee, in Iowa she is at least as popular as Huckabee is, according to the latest polling in Iowa. Both of them poll better than Romney in Iowa, but in the Iowa caucuses Palin and Huckabee will be competing for the same wingnut votes.
So while we know Palin is still alive as a presidential candidate, despite her sinking national numbers, perhaps the guy to take a good look at is Romney. In 2008 the score was: Huckabee 34, Romney 25, Thompson 13, McCain 13, Ron Paul 10. Assuming that the votes for Huckabee, Thompson and Paul were from the wingnut side, while Romney and McCain were votes from supporters of the party establishment, the wingnut-establishment split was about 57-38. If Romney gets most of that 38, while Huckleberry and Palin split the 57, Romney could pull an upset in Iowa and then take New Hampshire without breaking a sweat.
Recently I pointed out that with the winner-take-all system used in a lot of Republican primaries, someone like Palin could rack up some early wins and then run the table the way McCain did last year. But Romney could be the run-the-table guy too.