Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Palin Impact

We've had a few days to digest the results of Tuesday's elections, and on the whole, they were wonderful.  The opportunity to control redistricting in states like PA, IN, WI, OH--is delicious, and seeing Nancy evicted from the Speaker's suite in the Capitol would be worth ANY price of admission.

But we Republicans and Conservatives are left with a question, and it is an important one--what was Sarah Palin's impact on this election?

My opinion?  Depends on what you're talking about.  If you're talking about her impact on the muddled middle and its movement toward our policies, I'd say it was minimal.  Sarah Palin's just not that influential with the middle or the left.  The "Tea Party Movement" writ large--however--was influential with the middle.  We must be careful NOT to conflate the TPM and Sarah Palin--there is overlap, but they are different.

If you're talking about whipping up fervor and excitement on the right?  Then I think Sarah Palin was very, very influential.  The Republican base was ENERGIZED for this contest, and while her impact on this variable pales in comparison to that of--oh, say Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid--it was considerable.  She is a media figure on a grand scale, and she did yeoman work for the Right.

But if you're talking about her impact on specific races--that is, was Sarah Palin's anointing of individual candidates of measurable impact on the total election--I'd say she was not influential.  One way of assessing her impact would be to study whether her support (of her 52 endorsed House Candidates, 37 were victorious) was "necessary" or "persuasive" to the victory (largely through exit polling info).  I'd venture a guess that it wasn't.  Conversely, there is considerable anecdotal evidence that her anointing of several candidates (Miller, O'Donnell, Angle to name a few) was influential in Republicans losing winnable races.

In the end, my view is that she was generally influential but specifically a wash.


Ken Adams said...

Even though not all of her endorsed candidates won, 37/52 is still quite good. Some questions have to be asked in order to make a fair assessment though:
(1) How many of the 37 who won might have failed without the energy of her endorsement?
(2) How well did the 15 who failed to win close the gap against the incumbent as compared to his previous re-elections? Was that closure greater or less than the general movement toward more conservative candidates?

Another thing to consider - don't "endorsement" campaigns by major public figures usually play it safe? When was the last time that someone spent as much time and effort on the campaign trail without being on a ballot themselves? She was certainly more visible than Michael Steele.

"The Hammer" said...

Look Palin can put a candidate on the map, that's about it. The lesson of the Tea party this go 'round was weak candidates are weak candidates. A Christi O'Donnell will lose just about every time, especially in a liberal state like Delaware. They did pretty good first time out but going forward the Tea Party has to back more electable candidates.

Here's what I take from the midterm election. Obama and the Democrat left has been rejected by most of the country. Obama's election was a anomaly to begin with. It was the rejection of the country club Republican's own big spending, big foreign policy approach to government.

So, pragmatic Republicanism and Liberal/socialism have been rejected within the space of two years... what's left? Of course the answer is freedom. No matter how much they hate it, on both sides, it works every time. Furthermore, those who preach it win elections...almost every time!

We conservatives/libertarians are in a war. We're in a war with the ghosts of Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits and Lowell Weicker. Today they're called Mike Castle, Olympia Snowe and Lindsey Graham. Here's the thing, regardless of how you may feel about these people individually, they never advance the cause of freedom. THAT is the issue.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

by the way, she was winking at me...

Mr. Jones said...

No, no, she's winking at me.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Nice--Counting Crows....

Juan Tepasaskatz said...

Didn't think you'd get it. Well done.

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