Only a few weeks ago, Sarah Palin's political acumen was a being called deeply into question. Her recent GOP endorsements--Kentucky's Rand Paul, South Carolina's Nikki Haley and Idaho's Vaughn Ward--were all mired in political scandals of varying intensities. Fast forward to today, after one of the biggest primary night's of the year, and Palin resembles a modern day Nostradamus. She had four horses in the race, Terry Branstad, Carly Fiorina, Nikki Haley and Cecile Bledso, and three won their elections or advanced to a runoff. Giving credit where credit's due, Politics Daily's Sandra Fish and Politico's Andy Barr examine Palin's "winning ways."
- Palin's South Carolina Endorsement Was Huge, writes Barr:
Perhaps Palin’s most powerful demonstration came in South Carolina, where her endorsement propelled a major swing in the polls for Haley’s primary campaign for governor and sustained the state representative through accusations of two separate affairs.
"Her decision to get - and stay - involved in the race here in South Carolina was a huge boon to our campaign, because it caused a lot of South Carolinians to take a second look at a rising in the polls but once-little known state legislator who was fighting to give them back their government,” Haley spokesman Tim Pearson said of Palin.
Palin was quick to defend Haley from blogger Will Folks, who claimed to have had an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Haley, writing on her Facebook page that Folks was trying to “make things up.”
Palin recorded a robocall for Haley in the closing days, urging South Carolinians to ignore the “made-up nonsense.”
- Ditto for California, writes Fish:
In California, Palin endorsed Carly Fiorina early in May and made robocalls on the candidate's behalf in recent days. After winning Tuesday, Fiorina now takes on Sen. Barbara Boxer in what should be an epic battle given Boxer's 28 years in Congress and the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive's deep pockets.
- She Took Risks, Too Bar takes note of her Iowa endorsement: "Palin.. surprised some conservatives with her endorsement of Terry Branstad in the Iowa gubernatorial race over Bob Vander Plaats, a top aide to Mike Huckabee’s 2008 operation in the state and a grassroots favorite. As with Fiorina, Palin was able to successfully reassure many of her troubled fans that Branstad was indeed a strong conservative amidst protests on Facebook." Meanwhile, Fish notes Palin's close call in Nevada:
Palin came away unblemished in one race in which she almost -- but didn't -- place a bet. Although she gave a shout-out to former Nevada GOP chairwoman Sue Lowden at a breakfast meeting last month, Palin never actually endorsed her. That proved wise, as Lowden fell hard to Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, who now faces Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the fall.