Thursday, September 16, 2010 Palin Endorsements Help Trigger Upsets In GOP Primaries

David Hogberg and Sean Higgins have written a news analysis for Investor's Business Daily of the impact and meaning of Gov. Palin's political endorsements and what they may portend for her own political future. We've pulled some excerpts from the piece:
Written off by pundits as a lightweight, mocked by comedians as a dummy and quietly cursed as a loose cannon by Republican officials, Sarah Palin has nevertheless emerged as a potent kingmaker in national politics. Her success may be setting up a run for president in 2012.

On the surface, Palin's endorsement record is impressive. Of the 36 candidates facing contested primaries that she has endorsed, 25 have won. That's a win ratio of just under 70%.

What makes it really notable is that it includes several upsets that have shocked the Washington establishment. Many of Palin's picks were opposed by the GOP leadership, which poured resources into other candidates.

These upsets include Joe Miller in Alaska, Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Sharron Angle in Nevada and, on Tuesday, Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.

While elections are rarely determined by one factor, many cite Palin's endorsement as key in bringing in donations and whipping up grass-roots support.


Republican strategist Dave Winston says Palin's success within the GOP has to do with her zeroing in on an issue of concern to Republican voters: runaway federal spending.

He also notes that in making her endorsements Palin is doing a better job of selling her candidates than the GOP establishment: "She highlights the positive. Castle didn't run any positive ads about himself until the very, very end of his campaign."

Some analysts suggest that Palin's endorsements are part of a process leading to a race for the White House.

"I assume she is laying the foundation for a 2012 nomination run," the University of Delaware's Pika said.

Winston sees Palin as a contender: "When you look at the surveys, she is in the top tier. There is a sense that people know what her brand is."

You can read the unedited original article here.

- JP

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