Taking a look at the endorsements Sarah Palin has made on Facebook, Daily Caller political reporter Alex Pappas found that a nod from the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate can be the stuff of political gold. Such has been the case for Tim Burns, whose congressional campaign raised $80,000 in the 72 hours immediately following Gov. Palin's endorsement. Even a relatively unknown candidate like Sean Duffy saw his campaign coffers swell by about $40,000 after getting the Palin stamp of approval:
A review of Palin’s Facebook page shows that the former Alaska governor has endorsed 15 candidates on the social network. All but four are men, and all but one are Republican (Palin supported the conservative party candidate in the NY-23 congressional race).The significant Palin endorsement of Rand Paul is missing from Pappas' article, but it wasn't made on her Facebook page. Instead, Gov. Palin let Dr. Paul's campaign make the official announcement, which it did formally on February 1, after Paul broke the news a couple of days earlier.
For better-known candidates, a Palin endorsement carries the implied support of the grassroots Tea Party activists. Sometimes those endorsements come with personal appearances. Palin’s endorsement of Rick Perry in Texas, for example, helped attract 10,000 people to a rally earlier this year on Super Bowl Sunday for his campaign for governor. Perry defeated Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison several weeks later.
In the case of Sean Duffy, a small-town district attorney, Palin’s support may have been decisive. Duffy was challenging Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who is among the longest-serving House members. After Palin took to Facebook to endorse Duffy in February, his fundraising exploded. About 300 individual contributions arrived the first day. At the end of the first week, Duffy had raised $30,000, with thousands more arriving the following weeks. By the beginning of May, Obey had announced his retirement.
Here are the 15 candidates endorsed by Palin over the social networking website:
- Susana Martinez for governor of New Mexico, May 16
- Nikki Haley for governor of South Carolina, May 14
- Carly Fiorina for Senate in California, May 6
- Tom Emmer for governor of Minnesota, April 29
- Tim Burns for Congress in Pennsylvania, April 26
- Vaughn Ward for Congress in Idaho, March 29
- Adam Kinzinger for congress in Illinois, March 29
- Allen West for Congress in Florida, March 29
- Sean Duffy for Congress in Wisconsin, Feb. 17
- Rick Perry for governor of Texas, Jan. 20
- Michele Bachmann for Congress in Minnesota, Jan. 20
- John McCain for Senate in Arizona, Jan. 20
- Chris Christie for governor of New Jersey, Oct. 27
- Bob McDonnell for governor of Virginia, Oct. 27
- Doug Hoffman for Congress in New York, Oct. 22
And although she didn't formally endorse Scott Brown before the fact, the Democrats and other leftists certainly did all they could to try to tie Brown to Sarah Palin in hopes that the effort would spoil his chances in Blue Massachusetts. The negative attack failed, and Gov. Palin posted a Facebook Note on January 19 congratulating Brown for his victory in the special election.
Also not included in Pappas' analysis is the "Take Back the 20" list of Palin targets issued by SarahPAC (and posted on Facebook Notes March 23) which constitutes virtual endorsements for the opponents of the 20 Congressional candidates named. Rep. Alan Mulhollan, a 14-Term incumbent Democrat, was defeated in the West Virginia primary race.
Just how well the Palin endorsements are working out for the endorsees will ultimately be judged when the ballots are counted. For two of those candidates, the first test comes today. In Kentucky, Rand Paul carries not only an endorsement from Sarah Palin, but a double-digit lead in the polls into the GOP primary showdown against Trey Grayson in the race for Jim Bunning's seat in the U.S. Senate. And Tim Burns goes into the Congressional special election against Democrat and former Murtha staffer Mark Critz in Pennsylvania with a one-point poll lead and confirmation from Gov. Palin.