Republicans lost the White House, at least six senate seats and about 20 seats in the House of Representatives and the party is looking to its governors to fill the leadership vacuum.

Credibility damaged

US media reports have said Palin could attempt a presidential bid in 2012, however, she said in Florida that there were more immediate concerns.

"I, like all of our governors, we're focused on the future. The future for us is not the 2012 presidential race," she said.

"It's next year and our next budget, and the next reforms in our states and in 2010 we're going to have 36 governors' positions open across the US. That's what we're focused on."

The Alaska governor has hinted in the past that she might keep herself in the public eye by seeking a senate seat.

Critics said Palin was ill-prepared to be vice-president and could have cost John McCain, the Republican candidate, support from independent voters

Her credibility was undermined by a series of halting interview performances.

Six out of 10 Americans said Palin would not have been qualified to become the US president in the event of the incumbent vacating the post for any reason, according to exit polls of voters in last week's election.