(CNN) – While not offering a full endorsement, Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin urged South Carolina voters to turn out for Newt Gingrich during Saturday’s primary.
She said a win for the former House speaker would slow down the Republican presidential nominating process.
Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to CNNPolitics.com and on the CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android or other phones.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
"I want to see this thing continue because iron sharpens iron," Palin said on Fox News. "If I had to vote in order to keep it going, I would vote for Newt."
With Mitt Romney having already won the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, some political observers say another Romney win in South Carolina could lock up the nomination for the former Massachusetts governor.
But Palin argued it's too soon to settle on one particular candidate.
"I want more debates, more vetting of candidates, because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago with having a candidate that was not vetted to the degree that he should have been," Palin said, referring to now-President Barack Obama.
The 2008 vice presidential nominee has frequently praised Gingrich's debate performances, and last week her husband, Todd, announced his formal support for the candidate.
A recent poll shows Palin could get her wish. While 29% of likely Palmetto State GOP primary voters said they're backing Romney, 25% said they would support Gingrich. That margin is within the sampling error, according to an American Research Group survey.