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Why Bristol Palin Is Still on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Bristol Palin
Courtesy of ABC

She doesn't get the highest scores. She's not the biggest celebrity. Yet she's in the top four on the hit ABC show.

Do politics play a role in Bristol Palin’s endurance on this season of Dancing with the Stars? You betcha.

Palin, the daughter of former Alaska governor and media sensation Sarah Palin, has survived on the ABC competition show despite some of the lowest marks from the judges.

The abstinence advocate – who was seen in a Tea Party t-shirt during one rehearsal – didn’t improve with this week’s dismal “insta samba.” But it was erstwhile NFL quarterback Kurt Warner who got the hook. [RELATED : Who will compete on 'Skating With the Stars?"]

Contestants advance to the next round based on the judges scores as well as viewer votes. And Palin’s supporters have used social media to get out that vote.

Conservative radio host Tammy Bruce has led a Twitter campaign to get fans to vote for “Team Ballin” as Palin and her partner Mark Ballas are known. On Monday, Bruce tweeted: “Operation Bristol waltzes in tonight! As #DWTS starts vote at abc.go.com Tweeps pls tweet phone info, will RT.” Bruce only has a little over 14,000 followers, but the ripple effect on Twitter is well-established.

There are also multiple Palin fan sites including bristolpalin.org and her own Facebook page that urges users to “vote for Bristol the pistol.”

On Wednesday, the Yahoo Twitter page said Palin had “received 10X more searches on Yahoo! Than Jennifer Grey this week." Grey has consistently scored higher than Palin.

And Dancing with the Stars indexes in TV’s top-ten among Republicans, according to data from Experian Simmons that appears in the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter. It comes in at No. 9 on the list top shows among Republicans. And while Dancing indexes high with Democrats as well, it still does not crack the top 15 favorite shows among Democratic viewers. [RELATED: How Dancing With the Stars almost never aired.]

Palin told USA Today that “it’s crazy” how fare she’s advanced on the show. Dancing with the Stars executive producer Conrad Green admitted to Bloomberg that Sarah Palin’s popularity could certainly be helping to fuel her daughter’s success. “There’s a strong popular movement behind Sarah Palin at the moment,” said Green. “It’s entirely possible some of those people are behind Bristol for political reasons.”

Added Chan Lowe of the Orlando Sentinel: "She has to be among one of the worst dancers they have had. I mean, she tries, yes, but Ginger Rogers she ain't. In previous seasons she would have been the first or second person eliminated, with good reason. She can't dance. And now she is in the final four of one of the most popular shows going? There is one reason, and one reason only: The tea party."