At The Fix, Chris Cillizza notes that, even more so than Sarah Palin, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) continues to thumb his nose at the GOP establishment. DeMint has echoed Gov. Palin's endorsement of an outsider candidate in Delaware, but in New Hampshire, where Alaska's first woman governor is backing the more mainstream candidate, DeMint is supporting her opponent:
On Friday night, DeMint tweeted his endorsement of Ovide Lamontagne in New Hampshire and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware; the party apparatus prefers former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte in the Granite State and Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware.Obviously, Gov. Palin's endorsement of O'Donnell gave that candidate the visibility DeMint considered necessary to warrant his own stamp of approval. But the Senator and the former vice presidential candidate -- two of the unofficial leaders of the tea party movement -- are on opposite sides in New Hampshire, where Gov. Palin has not only endorsed but also recorded a robo-call in support of Ayotte.
"He knows they're underdogs but they've surged in the past week and are now within striking distance," said Matt Hoskins, a spokesman for DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund. "He wants to make sure voters know they have a conservative choice if they're unhappy with the establishment candidate."
DeMint met both O'Donnell and Lamontagne roughly a year ago, said Hoskins. The South Carolina Senator told both candidates that they needed to show more viability before he endorsed.
The New Hampshire and Delaware Senate primaries are tomorrow. PPP polls show Ayotte holding on in New Hampshire with a 37 to 30 lead over Lamontagne, while in Delaware, O’Donnell has surged to a 3-point advantage over "progressive" Republican Mike Castle, 47-44.
Related: Jim Geraghty has been one of the good guys, which is why we're at a loss to explain why he has been acting like such a shill for Mike Castle. At Red Meat Conservative, Daniel makes the case why Jim is just wrong on this race. There is a litmus test: any candidate who gets an "F" from the NRA either does not know the Constitution or doesn't acknowledge its supremacy for governing this republic.