Guess who’s on a winning streak in endorsements?

posted at 3:21 pm on August 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I’m not surprised by this, but I am a little surprised that the Washington Post noticed it.  Despite media claims that the Tea Party has gone dormant and that Sarah Palin’s influence has waned, the candidates she backs for office have an uncanny knack for winning their elections — even when they start far off the pace:

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin — though derided on the left and recently dismissed by former vice president Dick Cheney as a poor pick in 2008 — is nevertheless proving her enduring power within the Republican Party in the most concrete of ways: She keeps picking winners.

Each of five candidates she has endorsed this year who have faced primaries or other campaigns have won, including former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz, who Tuesday beatthe state’s well-connected lieutenant governor for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. …

She has endorsed just nine Republicans this year — five of them women, according to the Web site of SarahPAC, her political committee. In an interview on Fox News on Wednesday, Palin said that she is making down-ticket races, not the presidential campaign, a focus of her efforts this year. She called Senate and House races “so instrumental in reforming government, shrinking it, allowing the private sector to grow and thrive.”

This might be easy to dismiss if Palin made a habit of endorsing front-runners, but that’s not been the case.  Ted Cruz started off at a large disadvantage to Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in practically every metric imaginable.  Dewhurst had Rick Perry’s endorsement, a high profile office, tons of his own money to use in the primary fight, and at one time a huge lead in the polls.  In the first round of the primary in May, Cruz only narrowly forced a runoff, at 30% and Dewhurst just a shade under 48%.  The Tea Party engagement that Palin helped facilitate took Cruz from 18 points down in May to a 13-point victory this week — a remarkable 31-point turnaround in just two months.

Similarly, Palin backed Tea Party upstart Richard Mourdock against longtime incumbent Dick Lugar in Indiana’s GOP primary.  Palin endorsed Mourdock late in the cycle, just a couple of weeks before the primary.  Lugar had been up as much as 25 points in the polls in early 2012, but two weeks prior to her endorsement, Mourdock’s internal poll had him even with Lugar.  One week after Palin endorsed Mourdock, he was 10 points up on Lugar in what the local newspaper called “a dramatic slide” for the incumbent.  By the time the election rolled around one week later, Mourdock ended up with a 22-point victory over the entrenched incumbent.

There are very few figures in national politics who could have contributed to those results in a significant fashion.  Barack Obama won’t have any kind of coattails this year, just to choose one example, and Democrats in down-ticket races may have to distance themselves from the party leader this year to remain competitive.  I doubt that any Democratic candidate for Congress is pining for the Joe Biden endorsement, either.  Of the four principals in the 2008 election, Palin is the only one whose clout has increased, and probably is the only one whose clout hasn’t decreased significantly.  That’s why the Palin-Cheney kerfuffle last week really missed the point.  Regardless of whether one thinks Palin was a good pick for the 2008 ticket, she has transformed into a highly influential activist with the grassroots.  Attempting to minimize that or marginalize Palin as a powerhouse in the GOP will likely leave Palin with the last laugh.

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In other words, your parents are calling you for dinner.

cozmo on August 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM

You might be just a tad delusional, but I guess it’s great that you’re so proud of yourself.

bluegill on August 3, 2012 at 6:54 PM

After working at both the GOP and the TEA Party booths I discovered my prediction of lackluster support for Romney was spot on.

The total time I spent last week comes to about 18 hours, and during that time I was fortunate enough to talk to hundreds of voters, some of them farmer$$, and while I met ZERO enthusiastic Romney voters I did get invited to a few political gatherings. When I met people who seemed about ready to stay home this election cycle I told them to research Gary Johnson as I believed he could present them with what they were hoping to get this year.

I’ll soon have an opening to speak at the SWM TEA Party meeting of elected delegates, which tempts me to then present the proof of Romney’s efforts which got 0bama elected, Willards hatred of our TEA Partys, then offer up as an alternative Governor Gary Johnson.

It was fun having the Democrat booth right next to our TEA Party booth again. I don’t think those libs liked it when I LOUDly told visitors that they didn’t build that.

DannoJyd on August 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Why is McCaskill running positive ads for Adkins, saying he is the “true” Conservative and is for limited government as well as family values?

idesign on August 4, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Because her internal polling shows that she does best against Akin. It’s no more complicated than that.

alwaysfiredup on August 5, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Than ponder me this….

Steelman has been endorsed by over 50 conservative Missouri State Representatives, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), the Susan B. Anthony List, the Tea Party Express, Missouri Right to Life, National Right to Life, View Pac, ShePAC and Maggie’s List.

idesign on August 5, 2012 at 12:26 PM

And Brunner has Sens. Tom Coburn and Ron Johnson, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, FreedomWorks and local agricultural interests like John Deere. The SBA List and ShePAC only support women. Palin and Maggies List tend to support women. Brunner has a genetic disadvantage there. TPX just is generally clueless, didn’t they back O’Donnell and Angle?

Brunner has great pro-life bona fides as well, but his real asset is that he’s backed by the grassroots tea partiers here, and Steelman is not. She’s unreliable, indecisive, poorly-spoken and not a leader. Brunner is a Marine and natural leader in business and politics. For anyone who’s actually met the candidates, as I have, it’s really an easy choice.

alwaysfiredup on August 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Brunner sought Sarah’s endorsement in April, but made a public criticizm of Palin. Therefore he didn’t receive her endorsement.

The molehill was about an indirect criticism at best, spun into a mountain by Steelman’s media team. He meant no offense by it, and has attempted several times to apologize and clarify. Palin of all people should understand what happens when you’re a new political candidate speaking to national media.

Now he is even still criticizing her via his campaign manager: “she has endorsed an anti-business moderate instead of a conservative candidate,” said campaign manager Jon Seaton.

That’s not a criticism of Palin. It’s a statement of truth about something she did.

It would be helpful if Brunner had an elective record to research.
I still have the opinion that Brunner should have run for City Council, Mayor or some other office before a U.S. Senate seat.

bluefox on August 4, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Mike Lee, Ron Johnson and Rand Paul had no political experience before running for Senate, and they are three of our best freshman senators. John has a lifetime of success in the military, in business and in political activism to inform his policymaking. Brunner knows what it means to have to meet payroll and make hard choices that affect those closest to you. Politicians should have some expertise in something other than politics, and his two opponents have done nothing but run for office for the past 12+ years. Brunner is the best choice for MO.

alwaysfiredup on August 5, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Nobody’s been officially asked to speak, but how do you know they haven’t already talked about it? Pure conjecture on your part.
Stu Gotts on August 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Not at all. While not an “insider,” I do read various things. Multiple stories have talked about Christie, Santorum, etc.

Here’s the latest…

McCain but not Palin? IMO, stupid move if that’s where it ends up…

cs89 on August 5, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Just catching up,

Sometimes, she doesn’t always go for the sure thing, otherwise she would have endorsed Rossi in Washington or Efhart in Maryland (that didn’t work out so well after all)

narciso on August 5, 2012 at 11:10 PM

That’s right, but let’s not forget that Rick Santorum has been making the same endorsements, and on more than a few instances, he’s endorsed before Palin did.

Ceolas on August 5, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Brunner has great pro-life bona fides as well, but his real asset is that he’s backed by the grassroots tea partiers here, and Steelman is not. She’s unreliable, indecisive, poorly-spoken and not a leader. Brunner is a Marine and natural leader in business and politics. For anyone who’s actually met the candidates, as I have, it’s really an easy choice.

alwaysfiredup on August 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

She is unreliable, poorly spoken….

Where Have I heard that before?


idesign on August 5, 2012 at 11:51 PM

@ Ceolas

Sen. Santorum certainly shares love of country with Palin. Do you seriously believe that his endorsements carry as much weight? It isn’t likely.

Freelancer on August 6, 2012 at 9:31 AM

It’s not her ideology but her incompetence, lack of qualifications and juvenile behavior that most conservatives have a problem with.

bluegill on August 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM

By “most conservatives”, you mean the squishy, milque-toast middle right?

It’s no mystery why Democrats love it when Sarah Palin’s name pops up in the headlines. There is no one, except for maybe GW Bush, that they’d rather run against.

bluegill on August 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Yeah that must be why the left have gone after her pretty much 24/7 starting during the convention speech at her introduction.

Please… give us a break. Palin is the last person that the left wanted to run against their hero, Zero. Hence the attacks. And those attacks worked so well, they even had her own side believing them. Just read your own posts for proof of that.

As much as I hate it, Palin made the right choice in not running. She would have made a great POTUS but it would have been a massive uphill battle.

I think Mitt is a weak nominee, but I will vote for him over that radical currently in charge.

rightConcept on August 6, 2012 at 1:28 PM

She is unreliable, poorly spoken….

Where Have I heard that before?


idesign on August 5, 2012 at 11:51 PM

you sure as heck didn’t hear it from me. Palin is miles better than Steelman, who is much more like Bachmann.

alwaysfiredup on August 6, 2012 at 2:19 PM