Insiders say Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump will be a big help for him in the Iowa caucuses.
The former Alaska governor’s still-significant following among values voters would provide a big push on Feb. 1.
“Every minute that Iowa value voters spend focused on her and not on Trump’s ‘New York values’ is good for the Manhattan billionaire,” Jon Fleischman, editor of the much-read “Flash Report” online newsletter on California politics, told me. “She has a definite following with some conservative circles.”
Fleischman’s views were strongly echoed by Ed Martin, head of the pro-family Eagle Forum.
“Of course she’ll help Trump,” said Martin, a former Missouri state GOP chairman. “Palin is well-liked by conservatives and is recognized as a conservative on life, guns, and the military.”
Like several of the others I spoke to about Palin, Martin noted that the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee has a record of getting involved in primaries and more often than not, the candidates with her endorsement have won. GOP Sens. Kelly Ayotte in 2010 and Deb Fischer and Ted Cruz all carried Palin’s endorsement in the primary and all were winners. (Rival Cruz told reporters that in spite of Palin’s announcement, “I love Sarah Palin” and “without her support, I wouldn’t be in the Senate today.”)
Palin endorsed another 2016 presidential hopeful, Carly Fiorina, during the businesswoman’s race against two opponents for the Republican Senate nomination in California in 2010 (which Fiorina won, although she lost the fall election that year). That same year, she also endorsed Nikki Haley when the then-state representative came out of nowhere to win a crowded GOP primary for governor of South Carolina. She went on to win the governorship.
Michael Steele, former Republican National chairman, told me Palin “will be a tremendous help to Trump from the standpoint of having her serve as a counterpunch to the argument that Trump is not a conservative and at the same time blunting the momentum of Ted Cruz.”
“The battle for Iowa is on,” said Steele, “and Trump just raised the stakes with ‘Mama Grizzly.’”
Former Rep. John Linder, a past chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said he “doubted many people were undecided about Trump who will now jump on board because of this endorsement. There just aren’t that many on the right waiting for Palin to show them the way.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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