After Nebraskans Ben Sasse and Pete Ricketts, both of whom were endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, won the GOP Senate and gubernatorial nominations, respectively, on Tuesday, Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, rolled out a video that highlighted some of her other endorsements for this election cycle.
Sasse crushed his opponents and won by 27 points, but Ricketts won by just over 2,000 votes, and Palin’s endorsement may have made all the difference. A Harper Polling poll in February found Jon Bruning with a 19-point lead over Ricketts, who said many Nebraskans on the fence went over to his side after Palin backed his candidacy.
“I can’t tell you how many people have come to me and said, ‘I was having trouble making up my mind [in the contested primary] and I saw the endorsement form Governor Palin, and I’m on your side,'” Ricketts said on Monday.
This was not the first time Palin has been successful in the Cornhusker state. As Breitbart News reported, “Palin proved how valuable her endorsement was in Nebraska during the 2012 election cycle” when the GOP establishment “spent millions backing Jon Bruning, while Washington’s conservative establishment, including Freedom Works, spent millions backing Don Stenberg”:
But after Palin wrote a 135-word Facebook post to endorse Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), the then-unknown candidate suddenly had “momentum, buzz, and name identification” and rocketed to the top of the polls en route to wins in the primary and general election.
Palin was not alone this year, though. Cruz, for instance, also endorsed Sasse and Ricketts and stumped for Ricketts the weekend before the primary. And conservative groups were united in helping Sasse ward off specious advertisements by other outside groups.
The SarahPAC “Roaring to November” video features T.W. Shannon, who has surged to a 10-point lead after trailing by 35 points just two months ago and before Palin endorsed him; Karen Handel, who has surged to a virtual tie for first place in some polls before next Tuesday’s Georgia GOP primary; and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), who has also surged to 10-point lead in Iowa after Palin’s endorsement and Ernst’s “hog castration” commercial went viral.
Palin has also endorsed Chris McDaniel for Senate in Mississippi, Julianne Ortman for Senate in Minnesota, and Ret. Col. Rob Maness for Senate in Louisiana, and they are also featured in the video.
Former South Carolina Senator and Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint has said that Palin’s endorsement has the most influence in GOP primaries and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has said that he would not be in the Senate were it not for Palin’s endorsement.