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John McCain's one-time running mate and former Alaska governor is, as Plante puts it, "the star of the Republican Party. She's the top endorser, top fundraiser -- and now could be the party's top dog. Some members of the GOP base are calling for her" to take Steele's place.
And Plante points out that replacing Steele with Palin poses some risks. While a recent Pew poll finds that 40 percent of respondents have a favorable view of Palin, 51 percent don't -- which is why political analysts such as National Journal Hotline Editor Reid Wilson says -- don't hold your breath.