Congressional Republicans Balk at Endorsements

Tuesday, 08 Nov 2011 01:26 PM

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Just 21 percent of Republican members of the House and Senate have endorsed a GOP candidate for president. At the same time four years ago, 43 percent had taken the plunge, The Washington Post reported.

Just 60 of the 289 current Republicans in the House and Senate have sided with a candidate, the Post reported after crunching numbers maintained by Roll Call, said that. Of those, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads with 36 endorsements, followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 14, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with six, Texas Rep. Ron Paul with three, and businessman Herman Cain with one.

The candidates had been waiting with anticipation on who would get the nod from Sen. Jim DeMint, and many were surprised when the powerful South Carolina Republican said during the weekend that he wouldn’t endorse anyone. Instead, he said, he would concentrate on other races.

Some attribute the endorsement lag to the field. “The commitment level is very low [among voters], which leads you to believe the race is still very fluid,” Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., told the Post.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who endorsed Rudy Giuliani in early 2007, is holding off for now. Nunes told the Post the situation is not helped at this point because “most of our candidates at this point are arguing with each other rather than talking about Social Security, Medicare, energy.”

Mulvaney, who has endorsed Perry, also questioned the value of merely endorsing, telling the Post, “I think endorsements are overrated. The real question is, do you have buy-in from the people who say they’re endorsing you? . . . An endorsement is one thing, active participation is another.”

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