Sarah Palin's Political Popularity Could Impact Midterm Elections

Tuesday, October 5th 2010, 5:17 pm
By: News 9

By Samantha Hayes, CNN/NEWS 9 Contributor

WASHINGTON -- Sarah Palin seems to be everywhere these days from Twitter to the studio audience of "Dancing with the Stars." She has also endorsed Mary Fallin for Governor of Oklahoma. But will Palin's star power mean victory for Republicans in next month's midterm elections?

Sarah Palin's brand of political populism rocketed her to fame in the 2008 election. Now she's working to put her stamp on the 2010 midterms.

She has her own political action committee, and her endorsement appears to have been the golden touch for previously unknown conservatives, like Nikki Haley, the republican nominee for governor of South Carolina.

"She would not be on the map but for Sarah Palin and she's not the only candidate this year-- Joe Miller in Alaska and probably even Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. Her endorsement is probably the only Republican endorsement that matters this year," said Erick Erickson, a conservative blogger.

Palin got behind 29 candidates in the primaries, and 18 claimed victory. In some cases her endorsement went against the establishment in the Republican Party.

"This is it GOP, this is our time. We can't blow it GOP, but we won't wait for that political handbook to be handed to us from high, from the elites to tell us what to do," said Sarah Palin.

Though she's adored among Tea Party conservatives, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC news poll finds only 30 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the former governor.

And democratic strategists hope numbers like that will reign in Palin's influence in November.

"We're going to see a lot of swing voters coming out for democratic candidates. I don't think an endorsement from someone as unpopular as Sarah Palin is going to change that," said Margie Omero, a Democratic strategist.