But is a "true conservative" electable? Let history be a guide: To find a "true conservative" who ran for President, we have to go back to 1964. In that election, Barry Goldwater was trounced by Lyndon Johnson. Goldwater received only 38.5% of the popular vote; Johnson received 61.1%. As you can see on the 1964 electoral map, above, the result in the electoral college was even more lopsided.
And at a time, now, when President Obama's popularity has declined, a new CBS poll gives Palin even more bad news:
President Obama would trounce Sarah Palin in a 2012 match-up, according to a Bloomberg National Poll released today.
Fifty-one percent of respondents in the poll said they would vote for Mr. Obama if the election were held today and Palin were his GOP challenger. Just 35 percent said they would vote for Palin. Another 10 percent said they wouldn't vote at all, and 4 percent were unsure. ...
Surprise! Palin's numbers are a lot like Goldwater's final numbers. Obama's numbers aren't up to Johnson's, yet, but give it time.
Note: It's doubtful that Ronald Reagan was a "true conservative." A Conservative wouldn't have employed deficit spending like Reagan did, for example. Palin isn't like Reagan in many ways, but she claims to be a "true conservative," so, for the sake of argument, we take her at her word.
Goldwater wrote the Conservative "Bible," The Conscience of a Conservative. At that Wikipedia link, you can find a .pdf of Goldwater's book and references to other writings that illustrate how far those who now claim to be "true" or "common sense" conservatives have strayed.