If Newt wins SC, will Palin fully endorse him?

One close Palin aide was skeptical that Palin is preparing to endorse Gingrich, telling RCP that there have been “no internal discussions” about it.

Still, the same aide noted that Palin’s “South Carolina endorsement” of Gingrich on Fox News had not been previously discussed among her inner circle and that the former Alaska governor is always liable to live up to the “rogue” persona that she so cherishes.

If Mitt Romney is able to hold on to his lead in South Carolina and deliver a commanding win on Saturday, Palin may be less inclined to go out on a limb for Gingrich, who has suggested that he needs a victory here to remain viable.

But if Gingrich pulls off the upset, or comes close to doing so, her potential to impact the race going forward will grow significantly.

Palin’s influence could be deeply felt in Florida, the next state on the GOP calendar, where free media holds immense sway in a large and expensive primary state that is closed to non-Republican voters.