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Sarah Palin's Winning Ways: Endorsed Candidates Fare Well on Tuesday

4 years ago
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Sarah Palin batted three for four (with an asterisk) in primary endorsements Tuesday, and though Cecile Bledsoe's loss in Arkansas' 3rd District dropped her 2010 record in congressional matchups to 5-4, she's perfect so far in gubernatorial races.

If Nikki Haley (the asterisk) wins the June 22 runoff in South Carolina's GOP race for governor, that would further validate Palin's endorsement power. The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate came out for Haley personally in mid-May at a campaign rally, instead of merely tweeting or writing a Facebook note, as she's done for other candidates.

And when two GOP operatives came forward to say they had flings with Haley, Palin stuck with her candidate. Last week, voters received robocalls from Palin urging their support for Haley, whom she'd also defended on Twitter and Facebook.

In two other races, Palin would be wise to help her preferences mend fences with supporters of the more conservative candidates they defeated Tuesday.

In California, Palin endorsed Carly Fiorina early in May and made robocalls on the candidate's behalf in recent days. After winning Tuesday, Fiorina now takes on Sen. Barbara Boxer in what should be an epic battle given Boxer's 28 years in Congress and the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive's deep pockets. Will Fiorina call on Palin for help in the general election? The former governor might be a hit with voters in more conservative parts of the state, but she could be a liability with independents.

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In Iowa, Palin took the easy road, endorsing the frontrunner (and Tuesday's winner), former Gov. Terry Branstad, less than a week before his primary contest. Clearly, she's looking ahead to 2012 and the first caucus state, much as she would surely look for support from Haley in South Carolina's early presidential primary.

But was endorsing Branstad for governor the wise move? It certainly didn't go over with conservative voters in the state -- or Palin's supporters -- who complained that Branstad is too moderate. And Palin should have considered the outcome of Iowa's 2008 caucuses, where her eventual running mate, John McCain, barely competed.

Instead, conservative former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won in Iowa in 2008 -- and he endorsed one of Branstad's opponents, as did Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. Will Iowa conservatives, who turn out heavily for presidential caucuses, forgive and forget by 2012?

And will Branstad return the favor of Palin's endorsement, which even took him by surprise?

Meanwhile, Palin came away unblemished in one race in which she almost -- but didn't -- place a bet. Although she gave a shout-out to former Nevada GOP chairwoman Sue Lowden at a breakfast meeting last month, Palin never actually endorsed her. That proved wise, as Lowden fell hard to Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, who now faces Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the fall.

There are, of course, those who question the value of Palin's endorsements. She made a poor call in Idaho, where her man got stomped, and in Mississippi, where her last-minute shout-out didn't help. Meanwhile, opponents of Haley and Fiorina questioned whether Palin's robocalls violated state laws.

Was Tuesday a better day at the races for Palin than Saturday? Apparently, though we don't know how much she bet on First Dude, the horse named after husband Todd that finished third in the Belmont Stakes.
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882 Comments

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Gordon

Sarah has clout, but not because she is Sarah Plain, she has a clear majority behind her and with her that are fed up with government and politics as usual, she represents an entire segment or movement of citizens that have had enough and want, no demand change and demand it now. I would not just endorse a candidate because Sarah has endorsed them , that is the old way, please people; it is our Country, Our Government and our future, our money, stop sitting around on your duff and get involved, start really looking at all the cantidates, force them to tell you the truth and deman change-now. Stop playing this old, dried up blame game and take our Country back.

June 15 2010 at 6:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Rob & Kathy

WD Simmons8:07 PM Jun 10, 2010
The candidates that Sarah Palin endorsed were already ahead in the polls when she endorsed them. Don't act like she was the deciding factor.
********
Polls aren't always correct. You Dems electing Al Greene is a good example...

June 11 2010 at 10:29 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
WD Simmons

Palin has a better record than you know who? She's 5 out of 9 and Barack Obama won the presidency by beating Palin's guy. Oh yeah...Obama comes up short. Get real.

June 11 2010 at 6:00 PM Report abuse -10 rate up rate down Reply
rick4646

Palin had only endorsed candidates with big leads before her supoort. She is a con-artist with a bunch of lies, name-calling, and fear-mongering.

June 11 2010 at 9:27 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
Rob & Kathy

Palin is doing much better than Obama is. Obama is batting .000 on endorsements...

June 10 2010 at 10:26 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
WD Simmons

If Palin doesn't know what newspapers and magazines she reads what make you think that she will bother to read any whorthwile legislation. Will the state of union fit one her hands? Will they have bendable straws on her podium. Will her little leather jackets have the presidential seal on it. The answers to all of these questions our know because whn she is at the top of a ticket no on ewill be able to dumbdown the debates. Barack Obama is the last person she wants to debate. It's easy to shots at someone who has no time waste shooting back. Obama will handle her just like he handled McCain, Boehner, Cantor, Penz, Demint oh the list goes on.

June 10 2010 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WD Simmons

Escuse me. The candidates that Sarah Palin endorsed were already ahead in the polls when she endorsed them. Don't act like she was the deciding factor.

June 10 2010 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Len

I think perhaps it is a gross exageration to think it was Sarah Palin's endorsement that won the election for anyone. She certainly couldn't do it for John McCain and he is a far more credible candidate than those Ms. Palin has been stumping for. Unfortunately, Ms. Palin will ultimately hurt the GOP in the next presidential election.

June 10 2010 at 4:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kent

Two points to consider. First, this shows that Sarah Palin does have some influence. In a tight race, her endorsement and canpaigning can make a difference.

Second, it show that Sarah Palin knows a thing or two about politics. It's better to endorse someone who maybe isn't the best fit in terms of ideology, but can appeal to the broader electorate in a general election and has the ability to put together an effective organization and raise campaign funds.

June 10 2010 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rverao

give voters credit they know what's up

June 09 2010 at 9:42 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

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