Romney Has Winning Record in Picking Primary Candidates

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Monday, 02 Jun 2014 11:32 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Losing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is a big winner when it comes to backing candidates in GOP primary races in 2014.

He has a 100 percent success record in his picks, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also perfect with its endorsements. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, has backed the losing candidate two out every three times, according to The Daily Beast.

Romney has been batting 1000 so far with his six endorsements, including Senate hopefuls Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Dr. Monica Wehby of Oregon, as well as with Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson and Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster.

"The former Massachusetts governor clearly is defining who makes the grade as a 'Romney Republican' by choosing candidates who are pragmatic, business-friendly, and, so far at least, running effective campaigns that can win," says the Beast's Patricia Murphy.

The chamber is also on a roll with eight out of eight winning endorsements, mostly the same choices as Romney's.

"Unlike an endorsement from Romney or any other politician, which might bring a few days of press and a bump in the polls of a point or so, the support of the chamber means money and lots of it, in the form of independent expenditures to support a candidate,"  Murphy reported.

The chamber spent more than $1 million to support Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky against tea party candidate Matt Bevin, and nearly $1 million to help Rep. Jack Kingston land a spot in the runoff in the Georgia GOP Senate primary.

Palin has found it tough sledding to find a winner. Although she's successfully endorsed Ben Sasse for Nebraska senator and Greg Abbott for Texas governor, she's also had four also-rans.

She backed Katrina Pierson, who lost to Texas Rep. Pete Sessions; Taylor Griffin, defeated by Rep. Walter Jones in North Carolina; Lizbeth Benacquisto, beaten in a special election in Florida; and Karen Handel, who finished third in the Georgia Senate primary.

The chamber faces a tough test to retain its spotless record when its pick, Sen. Thad Cochran, goes up against Chris McDaniel in a close Mississippi race. Palin is backing McDaniel.

Romney is also in danger of losing his perfect record on Tuesday when his longshot pick Neel Kashkari, the former TARP czar, hopes to win the GOP primary in the Californian gubernatorial race.

And he's doing more than just endorsing Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst in a crowded Senate race; he's actually been stumping with the candidate.

Although Ernst has been backed by the chamber, as well, Palin has also supported her. But with an 18-point lead for Ernst, not even the Palin jinx is likely to hurt Ernst, according to

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