NY-23: How Palin stands to win (and Crist stands to lose)

One front in the battle over the heart and soul of the GOP is the 2012 presidential race, and the NY-23 drama is not without presidential implications. Sarah Palin’s surprise endorsement of Hoffman helped elevate his visibility while also cementing her status as the favorite presidential candidate of the grassroots conservative “tea party” set. This designation might come in handy in, say, Iowa, if she decides to run for the GOP nomination.
I’m not alone in the notion that a congressional election endorsement in 2009 might impact a 2012 presidential run. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a man believed to have national aspirations of his own, subsequently joined Palin in backing Hoffman.
Another front in the battle for the GOP involves conservative organizations. Of the many groups that rallied around Hoffman, the fiscally conservative organization Club for Growth was the most significant. Its endorsement of the Conservative Party candidate was a tipping point that signaled others that Doug Hoffman could compete financially. The club’s support gave every other organization and activist a reason to believe the race was “winnable” – so it really had a multiplier effect.