Despite the deeply held maxim that endorsements are overrated, Newt Gingrich and his senior aides are increasingly hopeful of gaining Palin’s support, which could mark a significant turn in the Republican nominating fight.Related: Robert Costa: Sarah for Newt?
In a Fox News appearance on Tuesday night, the 2008 vice presidential nominee stopped just short of endorsing Gingrich but told Sean Hannity that if she were a South Carolina resident, she would vote for him “in order to keep this thing going.”
Palin’s husband, Todd, endorsed Gingrich earlier this month, and top Palin aides have told RCP that both members of Alaska’s most famous political couple speak favorably of the former House speaker in private.
In a Washington Post poll released last week, 23 percent of registered Republicans and GOP-leaning independents nationwide said that an endorsement by Palin would make them more likely to back a particular candidate, while 15 percent said it would make them less likely to do so.
But Palin’s impact among evangelical and Tea Party-leaning GOP voters could be significant in the current multi-conservative field.
Asked how impactful a Palin endorsement would be, one Gingrich aide replied succinctly: “Big.”