August 4th, 2010
01:03 PM ET
4 years ago

In endorsement battle, score one for DeMint over Palin

An endorsement from Sarah Palin wasn't enough for Rep. Todd Tiahrt.
An endorsement from Sarah Palin wasn't enough for Rep. Todd Tiahrt.

(CNN) - This time a Sarah Palin endorsement wasn't enough for victory. But score another win for Sen. Jim DeMint.

Rep. Todd Tiahrt was edged out by Rep. Jerry Moran in a battle between two conservative congressmen for the Republican Senate nomination in Kansas. Moran is now considered the overwhelming favorite in November's general election to succeed GOP Sen. Sam Brownback, who is running for Kansas governor rather than for re-election to Congress.

Tiahrt was endorsed by the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee in June. In a Facebook post, Palin said Tiahrt was "a protector of our Constitution, a pro-family, pro-Second Amendment commonsense conservative who has never voted for a tax increase."

But Palin didn't personally campaign for Tiahrt, who also enjoyed the backing of Karl Rove and Phyliss Schlaffly, two other conservative powerhouses.

Moran was supported by DeMint, the freshman senator from South Carolina who has become somewhat of a kingmaker in conservative circles. DeMint did join Moran on the campaign trail in Kansas. The party's most recent presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, also endorsed Moran.

Most state polls of Kansas Republicans conducted this summer indicated Moran had a double digit lead over Tiahrt, but according to unofficial primary election results compiled by the Associated Press, Moran defeated Tiahrt by 4.9 percentage points.

Many state-wide candidates endorsed by Palin have come out on top in GOP primaries. Among them, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Carly Fiorina in California, Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Susana Martinez in New Mexico, and Terry Branstad in Iowa.

Palin is also supporting Karen Handel in next week's GOP gubernatorial primary runoff in Georgia, Gov. Jan Brewer in this month's Republican gubernatorial primary in Arizona, and has backed former NFL player Clint Didier in the GOP Senate primary in Washington, and conservative Joe Miller who is challenging Sen. Lisa Murkowski in this month's Republican primary in Alaska.

"Palin's a media star. An appearance or endorsement by her guarantees that a candidate dominates the local news and maybe has a shot at national cable," says Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez.

"But she appears sparingly and is conscious not to over expose herself," adds Sanchez, the author of "You've Come a Long Way, Maybe"

For DeMint, the Moran victory is another notch on the belt. Last year DeMint was an early supporter Marco Rubio in the Sunshine state Senate battle, at a time when the former Florida House Speaker was considered having little or no chance against Gov. Charlie Crist, who was backed by establishment Republicans. Fast forward a year and Rubio is the presumptive GOP Senate nominee and Crist is running for the Senate as a non-aligned independent candidate.

Since then, DeMint has backed and assisted many little know, outside the Beltway candidates through his Senate Conservatives Fund political action committee, often at odds with the national party.

In comparison to Palin, Sanchez says "DeMint offers other positives to the Right. His conservative bona fifes are useful in fundraising."

The Kansas Senate primary isn't the first time DeMint and Palin backed different candidates. DeMint endorsed conservative candidate Chuck Devore in the Senate contest in California, while Palin backed the winner, Fiorina. They are on different sides again, later this month, as DeMint has supported Dino Rossi in the Washington state Senate primary. Rossi, a two-time gubernatorial candidate, also appears to be the pick of national Republicans. Palin is backing Didier, who enjoys the support of many in the Tea Party movement.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Jim DeMint • Sarah Palin
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Patrick

    Since when has Palin tried to avoid overexposure?

    August 4, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Video Guy

    Guess his cojones just did not make the grade. Also how does she know these things? Does she fly in on her private jet and meet them? Does she reach down and ...............?

    August 4, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. David in Houston

    Is Sarah Palin is the epitome of ignorance?

    You betcha!

    August 4, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. This time a Sarah Palin endorsement wasn't enough for victory

    whether she says or doesn't say what she thinks is of no important, she is a non entity

    her strong suit is not thinking, not giving analysis

    IT IS GETTING PAID FOR BEING PALIN

    that people continue to listen or give her money is laughable

    August 4, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Moderate

    The same Constitution she and her cohorts want to change? Times are getting pretty scarry

    August 4, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. carlos

    demented and airhead.......enough of these tards.........

    August 4, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Nellie Bly

    Typical Palin talking points. Be sure to say common sense and conservative, preferrably together, too, mention the constitution. Talk about family, as well, taxes, too, also, he's pro-family and in addition to the 2nd amendment. You betcha! Oh shoot! I forgot to mention God. I'll just do that when he runs again next year.

    August 4, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Phil in KC

    Mox nix. Either way, you end up with someone who's so far to the right, he can't even see the center. These guys would call George Will a liberal.
    They both campaigned that they were going to go to Washington and make big changes. News flash – there are 99 other senators and you aren't going to change a darn thing without the help of 59 of them. I guess they forgot about that. How much pull do you think a freshman senator from a small (population) midwestern state is going to have? Not much.

    August 4, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. cf

    Has the "Palin bump" EVER worked? It seems like everyone she supports ends up losing.

    Being a "media star" is one thing. But sound minded people still aren't going to vote for a radical or complete imbecile just because of a celebrity endorsement.

    August 4, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Jon

    I'm waiting for her endorsement to become the kiss of death in the general election.

    August 4, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. Independant Thinker

    "Score One For Demint!"
    (but we're still gonna run Sarah's picture.... heh-heh-heh)

    CNN – No wonder you're tanking!

    August 4, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. EBC

    Republicans are starting to smell the stench this woman is spreading amongst themselves. They tout this woman as their "savior" when in fact she's the cancer that is spreading destruction within their own party.

    Sarah Palin, the gift that just keeps giving, even if you don't want her to.

    August 4, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. jerseylou

    OK.....So these two Horses hit the wire together,one nosing the other out. I guess he get 's the stupid Prize for today!

    August 4, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Marry

    CNN, please STOP it! Put Palin and her family into the entertainment section where she belongs!

    August 4, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Tony

    Why would anyone want the endorsement of a quitter/loser/liar like Palin?!?!

    August 4, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Ted

    CNN – your sentence quote But Palin didn't personally campaign for Tiahrt, who also enjoyed the backing of Karl Rove and Phyliss Schlaffly, two other conservative powerhouses. unquote

    This sentence implies that Palin is a conservative powerhouse. Are you nukking futs?

    Palin is an unintelligent trailer trash soccer mom from Wasilla. She is the ex-governor, having quit her job when the heat got too hot for her and Todd and the rest of the stupid family to take.

    August 4, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  17. Michael in Houston

    cautious to not overexpose herself? You have got be kidding us. Do you all really think we are collectively this stupid?

    August 4, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Debbie

    Hey Mrs. Palin, today is Mr. President Obama's birthday. Come-on, what very smart thing you have to say. oh yea, your not that smart. If he says the sun set in the west, what say you?

    August 4, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. vic

    Palin must stop endorsing candidates it will hurt her if she run in 2012

    Smart person avoid endorsing candidate in primaries

    Next media will make chart candidate win by Palin endorsement what constitution reject endorsement how it will work 2012 Oh

    Now days we can predict what main stream media will say because they are going down

    August 4, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. snow

    They were both Conservatives and either one would have been great for Congress. The important thing here is that no demorat will get this seat.

    August 4, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. JFK

    People should not listen to mentally challenged fear mongers like Sarah Palin. She is catering to the lowest form of politics by taking advantage of the 'flat earth' crowd. Wake up people!

    August 4, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Jilli

    Palins a fraud – she doesn't know these people. She's nothing but an opportunist looking out for herself.

    If Palin endorsed them, I wouldn't vote for them. Then again, I wouldn't vote for anyone Demint endorsed either.

    August 4, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. normajean

    When are Sarah Palin and her followers going to learn that her name or her face every place can be more of a turn off than a help. A very large segment of our society sees her for what she is, someone who values the almighty dollar over dignity, integrity ,honesty. A number of these people she's pushed herself on, don't want her help, but there she is pushing ,blabbering on with sound bites to make up for a drastic lack of knowledge. Still writing on her hand for whatever that's supposed to display. Even ice cream can make you sick after too much.

    August 4, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Jeepers

    Good to hear this!

    August 4, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Sarah's constitution is not the same one that the United States has. Although she has borrowed a few parts of it. Common sense conservatism is much like jumbo shrimp, an oxymoron that is the usual talking point of the Alaska moron.

    August 4, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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