Politico looks at yesterday’s races and notes one theme out of many: the power of Sarah Palin’s endorsements as 75% of the candidates she backed in the June 8th primaries won:
Some of Sarah Palin’s riskiest endorsements scored major victories Tuesday for the former Alaska governor, showing off her power in Republican primaries.
Palin had four primary endorsements in play – Carly Fiorina, Nikki Haley, Terry Branstad and Cecile Bledsoe – and three won or moved on to a runoff.
Palin served different roles for each candidate – sometimes spotlighting conservatives not well known to the national scene while at others validating conservative credentials to an unsure grassroots and even stepping in to deflect nasty attacks.
The former governor’s influence was significant-to-decisive in California, South Carolina, and Iowa. Interestingly, the last two are important early contests in the Republican presidential primaries. Hmmm…
In Arkansas, she wasn’t able to put Bledsoe over the top, but she did help make it very close. Altogether, this should tell anyone thinking of dismissing her as a lightweight, especially her potential Republican rivals, that Sarah Palin is a force to be reckoned with. Assuming these people (and others she’s backed) win, and assuming she runs for president in 2012, there will be quite a few people who owe her, big-time.
One question for anyone out there (cue crickets): Why didn’t Sarah Palin issue endorsements in the Nevada primaries, when any Republican nominee stands a good chance of defeating the Senate majority leader in November? Scalping a senator of Reid’s power should seem awfully tempting for someone with presidential aspirations. Now, she can of course campaign for the winner, Sharron Angle, but it won’t have quite the same effect as it would have had she played kingmaker queenmaker before the election.
Was there something about all three (Angle, Lowden, & Tarkanian) that would put her off, or am I grossly overestimating her popularity in Nevada?
UPDATE: Time Magazine asked Palin how she picks her endorsements. Her answer is interesting.