SARAH PALIN: Untransferable popularity?

Michael Medved

11/30/2010 2:01:06 PM - Michael Medved

Conventional wisdom views the recent elections as a triumph for Sarah Palin but the record shows she enjoyed only mixed success in transferring her huge popularity to candidates she endorsed.

The Washington Post tally showed Palin backing a total of 64 candidates nationwide; nearly half of them—31, to be exact—lost either in the primaries or general election. Many of Palin’s winners were front-running incumbents—like Texas Governor Rick Perry, or Arizona Senator John McCain—while her riskier choices, like Joe Miller in her own state of Alaska or Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, fared far worse.

Of the six Republicans who succeeded in capturing Democratic Senate seats only one of them—John Boozman in Arkansas—did so with Palin’s backing. She remains a dynamic force within the Republican Party, but her potency as king or queen-maker—at least in the general election—remains unproven.