Palin visits don’t wow independents

Jeff Winkler Contributor
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Sarah Palin has endorsed 56 candidates this election season and had an impact on GOP primaries, but a new poll suggests that campaign visits from the former Alaska governor ahead of the general election could hurt Republicans.

A Gallup poll released Wednesday shows that 19 percent of independents are more likely to vote for a candidate the 2008 vice presidential nominee visits. However, 35 percent of independents are less likely to support a candidate for whom Palin campaigned. With a net impact of minus 16 percent among independents, she still does better than President Obama, who has a net impact of minus 27 percent.

Palin is the biggest hit with conservative Republicans, where her net positive impact is 44 percent, comparable to Obama’s number about all Democrats. Both of them are equally unpopular with the opposite party.

Thirty-eight of the 56 candidates that Palin endorsed have won their primaries, but this latest poll suggests that her effectiveness in the general election could be smaller.

On Tuesday, Palin endorsed Arkansas candidate John Boozman, who already leads Sen. Blanche Lincoln by more than 15 percent in most polls. She also backed John Raese in West Virginia, who is in a tough race for an the open Senate race, and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, who is running neck-and-neck with Democratic candidate Joe Sestak.