Sarah Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, just released a video highlighting different candidates they supported who won Tuesday night.

While some in the media are painting the evening as horrible for her it becomes pretty apparent that they can’t add and are confused as to who she actually endorsed.  Josh Painter pointed out that she had a pretty good night, it wasn’t 100% (who did bat .1000?), but it wasn’t dismal as some on the left would have you believe.  Josh writes:

The truth is Palin-endorsed national candidates (there were 94 of them in the general election) have won 60 and lost 26, with 8 races undecided. Of the decided races, she has a winning percentage of 70.6% so far. That’s over two-thirds of the candidates she has endorsed. Even were her endorsed candidates to lose the remaining nine undecided contests, she would still have a winning percentage of 63.8, or better than three out of five. Not bad at all, especially considering all of the underdogs and long shot candidates the governor endorsed in these races. Notice that no one in the media is talking about any other political figure’s endorsements and how they fared in the midterms. That speaks volumes in itself.

Andrew Malcolm also points out something that everybody should remember, there were more people than just Sarah Palin stumping for these candidates and then there are the candidates themselves.  So no win or loss can be entirely pinned on a single endorsement.  Regardless, Sarah Palin made some good picks and should she decide to run in 2012, laid a pretty good foundation.

An speaking of 2012… yes, I know you’re excited to talk about 2012, I want to look at the Iowa Caucus in particular.

First, I have to tip my hat to the work Rick Santorum did with his Iowa Keystone PAC.  He dumped a ton of money here and campaigned on behalf of numerous candidates.  Ron Paul was also very active doing several fundraisers in Iowa for both individual candidates and for the state party and had a grassroots organization in play.  Newt Gingrich spoke several times, but he doesn’t have any organization that I’m aware of.

Mike Huckabee was in the state early on, but after Bob Vander Plaats lost the gubernatorial race he wasn’t in the state quite as much.  He is speaking at a fundraiser for the Iowa Family Policy Center Action later this month, and like Ron Paul, has a great grassroots organization and he also endorsed in several state races.  The fact he won the 2008 Caucus gives him an edge as he already has a strong base in Iowa.  

Then we also have Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty who camped out in Iowa, also did several fundraisers for state candidates, established an Iowa PAC, and made endorsements through his Freedom First PAC.  Mitt Romney also endorsed in Iowa, and was here sparingly.  I’m not sure about any state candidates that he endorsed beyond Terry Branstad… as I’ve said before I think Romney’s impact in Iowa will be minimal.  He has been weighed and measured and found wanting.  My opinion, but I don’t believe with the current landscape in Iowa that he could win the Caucus. 

Governor Palin batted .500 with two endorsements.  She endorsed former Governor Terry Branstad who won and endorsed Attorney General candidate Brenna Findley who lost (which had nothing to do with her endorsement I might add).  She also spoke at an incredibly successful fundraiser for the Republican Party of Iowa.

In terms of impact in Iowa’s state races… I think the winners are Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty and Ron Paul.  They were here campaigning on behalf of, and held fundraisers for state legislative candidates.  I think Huckabee’s greatest effort was in the Gubernatorial campaign, but he also endorsed Brenna Findley and several legislative candidates (like Kim Pearson who pulled off an upset in Iowa House District 42 and Kent Sorenson who won in Iowa Senate District 37).  Like I mentioned before he already has an advantage being the 2008 winner.

Where does that leave Sarah Palin?  Should she choose to run it is very apparent she has broad support and can draw a crowd.  She is also a prolific fundraiser.  When it comes to Iowa though, she’s running a little behind.  I just see some lost 2010 opportunities, but it is still early.  My advice to her (and any other presidential candidate who seeks to do well here) is to not just go big, but go small.  We Iowans are spoiled; we are used to being able to meet our candidates and bend their ear.  That is simply impossible to do with large events.  So come early and often to the Hawkeye state.  Make sure to do two or three stops in Iowa if there is a book tour for America By Heart, and get some grassroots organization started out here.  She also needs to reach out to social conservatives and tea party folks (many of whom are one in the same).  I know that Governor Palin is a different breed of politician, but there are rules that apply to everybody and those are some of the rules here in Iowa.

If she runs in 2012, I hope that she takes my advice.

15 comments
  1. Since the Republican ‘leaders’ have already announced that their main job for the next two years is the same as the last two: bring Obama down, just what will they have to run on in 2012? If they have so little regard for the public who stupidly elected them, if they really do not deal with the debt, with education, with the environment, with fixing health care so it works for all, with their overspending ways, with a bloated military budget, with job creation….just what are they going to do? Say “No” to each other and blame Obama for not working for bipartisanship? They have made it clear that they think like Palin: our way or the highway. That is no way to govern in a democracy. I can hardly wait for six months of nothing but shouting, when the Tea Party deserts the people who promised them the world on a platter. Oh, and Boehner better learn to walk on water, because THE ONE is supposed to do it all, and quickly!

    1. I completely agree that they had better embrace Palin’s values. I also don’t believe that our 2012 nominee will come from Congress… look to the Governors (or ex-Governors) 🙂

    2. Gee Suzy, just a little bitter are you? Obama’s agenda was on the ballot and it got trounced across the country. Why would any real conservative reach out to Obama? He is the one that will have to change or risk destroying what is left of his party in 2012. Wasn’t it he who said “We are the ONE’S we have been waiting for? Guess not.

  2. I agree Palin has a leg up on the nomination, but not necessarily the IA caucus. She doesn’t need to win, though. If she came in 2nd ahead of Romney and others (likely) and then 2nd or 3rd in NH (again, very possible) then she cruises through SC and could easily win the nom. No one has the popularity Palin has at this point out of the republican field, and the don’t have any potential “Obamas” that I know of.

    1. Palin getting 2nd in both places doesn’t guarantee a win in South Carolina either. In 2008, Romney was 2nd in IA and NH and all he got was a lousy T-Shirt.
      Huckabee finished 1st in Iowa, third in New Hampshire and 2nd in South Carolina.
      McCain only beat Huckabee 33%-29% in SC last time with Fred Thompson siphoning off about 15%. I won’t pull a Romney supporter and suggest I know where those votes would have gone had Fred not run, but I do think Huckabee has at least as good a shot as Palin in SC in 2012.

      After South Carolina, Florida would be next. Huckabee and Demint were the first two to endorse Rubio and I believe Rubio endorsed Huckabee last time. Anybody that thinks the race will be easy for anyone isn’t paying attention.

      1. Very true, Palin has name recognition but with that comes both good and bad. She’s been unfairly characterized by those on the left (and unfortunately within the GOP establishment) and that has still stuck with some people. That isn’t insurmountable, but the retail politicking which she is extremely good at (demonstrated mostly in Alaska, not as much in 2008) will be an asset. She just needs to employ it. Running for the nomination isn’t that much different than running for Governor. Early on in states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina you need to treat it like a state-wide race. Then you have to nationalize it further down the road, but hopefully by then you’ll have momentum.

        I don’t know if Huckabee has the best advantage than Palin in Florida though, David. Look where she was drawing her biggest crowds in 2008, and during her book tour.

  3. The first person to speak out about the Federal Reserve

    The ONLY candidate to predict the recession and correctly point out the reason.

    The only candidate in ’08 who defended the constitution

    The first candidate to attend a Tea Party

    The man whose son won the most watched race of the most watched mid-term election in history

    2012 President Ron Paul
    (The Truth Will Set Us Free)

  4. The first person to speak out about the Federal Reserve

    The ONLY candidate to predict the recession and correctly point out the reason.

    The only candidate in ’08 who defended the constitution

    The first candidate to attend a Tea Party

    The man whose son won the most watched race of the most watched mid-term election in history

    2012 President Ron Paul
    (The Truth Will Set Us Free)

  5. The first person to speak out about the Federal Reserve

    The ONLY candidate to predict the recession and correctly point out the reason.

    The only candidate in ’08 who defended the constitution

    The first candidate to attend a Tea Party

    The man whose son won the most watched race of the most watched mid-term election in history

    2012 President Ron Paul
    (The Truth Will Set Us Free)

    1. Thanks for dropping by, I think you’re mixing fact with opinion, but what the heck! Good luck to your candidate hopefully he’ll do better in Iowa than last time around. In 2008 his greatest two weaknesses in Iowa, in my opinion, were: 1. His foreign policy position – simply naïve. 2. His supporters who came into Iowa mainly from out-of-state.

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