Organizers predict as many as 10,000 people could come to tiny Searchlight, the hardscrabble former mining town where the Senate Democratic leader grew up and owns a home. But a light turnout or disruptions could lead to questions about the emerging movements' credibility and direction.
Since the health care vote, "Everyone is waiting to see if the tea party movement is reinvigorated or if we've resigned ourselves to defeat," Joe Wierzbicki, a spokesman for event sponsor Tea Party Express, said in an e-mail.
The rally that's been called a conservative Woodstock takes place just days after the historic health care vote that ushered in near-universal medical coverage and divided Congress and the nation.
The vote was followed by reports of threats and vandalism aimed at some Washington lawmakers, mostly Democrats who supported the new law.
Police don't expect problems but the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is sending dozens of uniformed and plainclothes officers to patrol the crowd.
Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, is scheduled to appear after spending Friday campaigning for Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who led the 2008 ticket.
Now a Fox News analyst and potential 2012 presidential candidate, Palin faced criticism after posting a map on her Facebook page that had circles and cross hairs over 20 Democratic districts. She also sent a tweet saying, "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"