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Underdog Bristol Palin Makes "DWTS" Semi-Finals

Bristol Palin, left, and partner Mark Ballas perform on "Dancing with the Stars," Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/ABC

(CBS) Despite receiving the lowest scores after Monday night's performance, Bristol Palin and her dance partner Mark Ballas have made it to the semi-finals of "Dancing with the Stars." Former football star Kurt Warner was sent home on Tuesday.

Bristol's continued success in not getting voted off the "DWTS" island is due in part to fans of her mother, Sarah Palin.

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She certainly hasn't wowed the judges, typically receiving among the lowest scores from the judges throughout the competition. The judges try to be kind and offer some compliments, but it is faint praise. "It's so important getting those heels and toes right. And by and large, Bristol always does that," judge Len Goodman told Bristol on Monday night's show.

Odds are that Bristol will not win. Even if she won the phone-in vote, the judges would have a major issue giving her the trophy versus Jennifer Grey or Brandy, both of whom outshine the 20-year-old teen advocate by a wide margin on the dance floor. Whatever the outcome, Bristol challenged herself on a national stage, made some good money and provided another outlet for the Palin media machine. Next up, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," the TLC show featuring the Palin family taking viewers on a tour of America's "final frontier."

Bristol's survival on "DWTS" is a testament to the power of her mother and her Tea Party fans. And, it's an indicator of how the Palin brand is viewed as Sarah Palin contemplates running for president in 2012. While her daughter was dancing , Palin told a crowd in Pennsylvania that she is considering a presidential run, and reiterated her previous statements that she would make her decision "after prayerful consideration and a survey of the political landscape." She said she "would be in it to win it."

On "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" this week, Bristol  was asked about whether her mother would run for president in 2012. "I don't know. But I hope she does," she said. If she indeed does run, Bristol's dancing fans will likely be casting their votes in support of the former Alaska governor.

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