Big get: Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval endorses Perry

Bigger than Jindal’s endorsement?

Our nation needs a leader in the White House who understands the role of government and our economy. Governor Rick Perry has the strongest record of job creation, fiscal discipline, and executive branch leadership among the presidential candidates. As a governor, Rick Perry created a tremendous blueprint for job creation and as President, I know he will get America working again. I consider Governor Perry a friend and I am proud to endorse his campaign for President.

Not a huge surprise as he and Perry have an advisor in common and know each other through the RGA, but surprising enough insofar as Nevada’s supposed to be one of Romney’s two early-state strongholds. An endorsement this early from a popular governor — his approval rating as of mid-July was 53/29 — is a shot across Mitt’s bow that he should expect the state to be contested vigorously. And like Jindal’s endorsement, it’s a boost of confidence for Perry after the beating he’s taken over Social Security. (According to PPP’s latest, he’s lost five points to Obama in a hypothetical match-up in just three weeks.) The more conservative big shots he can get on his side, the more the Overton window on entitlements moves in the primary.

One other footnote: Along with Rubio and Susana Martinez, Sandoval’s part of the GOP’s new generation of Latino stars. That may not mean much in the primary, but Obama does look vulnerable among Latinos in the general. Remember this Gallup poll from last week? He’s lost 27 points among the demographic since Inauguration Day and is now below the water line with 48 percent approval. McCain’s years of amnesty shilling did nothing for him last election so I’m not getting my hopes up this time, but if there’s a candidate in the field who might be able to threaten Obama among Latino voters, it’s Perry. And the early Sandoval endorsement can only help.