Paul Bedard, Lauren Fox
U.S. News & Politics
August 19, 2011

The Undefeated, the Sarah Palin documentary, isn’t what you’d call a summer blockbuster. In fact, the sympathetic biography flopped in theaters, grossing only $175,000 at the box office. In Iowa, where the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee seems to be laying the groundwork for a presidential bid, just a few have seen it. Iowa Palin organizer Peter Singleton puts the number of screenings at “dozens,” but “less than 100.” And, adds Singleton, only a “handful of people” have attended each showing.

For anybody else, that would spell disaster. If Tim Pawlenty ended his presidential hopes after getting just 2,293 votes in last weekend’s Ames Straw Poll, can Palin hang around if even less Iowans have shown up to see her movie? You betcha, says her gang.

“A big theater showing was never the intention,” says director Steve Bannon. “My plan was always to get this shown in every nook and cranny in the country.” To that end, he’s lined up a pay-per-view and stores like Walmart are releasing 250,000 DVDs of The Undefeated. The goal: Give people a chance to see the real Palin and, should she decide to run, use it as the campaign introduction.

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“We’re confident she’ll run, and we’ve worked to build that really strong grassroots base that you have to build for a candidate to be successful just in case she does,” says Singleton, the Iowa “Organize4Palin” representative.

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