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A mixed bag for Sarah Palin's endorsed candidates in 2010 election

For the full rundown of the former Alaska governor's endorsements this cycle, check out The Post's Palin Endorsement Tracker.

By Felicia Sonmez

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) endorsed a total of 47 Senate, House and gubernatorial candidates who won their party primaries and were on the ballot in Tuesday's election. So how did those candidates facing competitive races fare?

The answer: it's a mixed bag.

In Senate races, Palin backed 11 Republican candidates who were on the ballot Tuesday (two others, Clint Didier in Washington state and Todd Tiahrt in Kansas, lost their primaries).

Six of those candidates won Tuesday: Sen. John McCain in Arizona, Rep. John Boozman in Arkansas, ophthalmologist Rand Paul in Kentucky, former Rep. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and former state house speaker Marco Rubio in Florida.

Four of Palin's endorsed Senate candidates lost: former Nevada assemblywoman Sharron Angle, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in California, businessman John Raese in West Virginia and marketing consultant Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. And one contender, attorney Joe Miller in Alaska, has yet to have his race called.

In gubernatorial races, Palin backed eight GOP nominees on the ballot (her three endorsees in Maryland, Georgia and Wyoming lost their primaries earlier this year).

Of the eight gubernatorial candidates Palin was backing Tuesday, six won: Butch Otter in Idaho, Susana Martinez in New Mexico, Rick Perry in Texas, Mary Fallin in Oklahoma, Terry Branstad in Iowa and Nikki Haley in South Carolina. Two of Palin's endorsed candidates lost: Tom Emmer in Minnesota and former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo in Colorado, whom Palin backed in an eleventh-hour endorsement.

And in House races, Palin had backed 28 candidates who were on yesterday's ballot. (Five of her endorsed candidates -- in Tennessee's 5th District, Colorado's 3rd, Mississippi's 1st, Arkansas' 3rd and Idaho's 1st - didn't make it through their primaries.)

Sixteen of Palin's endorsed Republican House candidates won in Washington's 5th District, California's 37th, Arizona's 1st, Minnesota's 6th, Missouri's 4th, Wisconsin's 7th, Illinois' 11th and 14th, Mississippi's 1st, Alabama's 2nd, Tennessee's 8th, Michigan's 1st, Florida's 22nd, South Carolina's 1st, North Carolina's 2nd and New York's 13th.

Eight of Palin's candidates lost in Utah's 2nd District, Arizona's 4th, Texas' 30th, Mississippi's 2nd, Georgia's 12th, Indiana's 2nd, New York's 2nd and Massachusetts' 4th.

And four races have yet to be called in Washington's 2nd District, Arizona's 7th, Virginia's 111th and New York's 25th.

What can be gleaned from the results?

First, insofar as it was a good night for Republicans - especially in House and gubernatorial races -- it was a good night for Palin. The GOP swept in some races where longtime Democratic incumbents had been favored, such as Missouri's 4th.

But it's also worth noting that Palin backed plenty of candidates in non-competitive races: she backed Rubio in Florida long after he became considered a shoo-in, and supported Fallin, Branstad, Otter and a slew of others who were heavily favored to win their races.

And in some of the races where Palin most vocally supported an upstart Republican nominee, to the chagrin of the GOP establishment - such as Miller in Alaska and O'Donnell in Delaware - those candidates' fortunes appear less than favorable.

All in all, it was more of a mixed night for Palin than it was for the GOP as a whole. But expect even more slicing and dicing of Tuesday's results as returns continue to roll in.

By Felicia Sonmez  | November 3, 2010; 9:13 AM ET
Categories:  Governors, House, Senate  
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Next: What did the 2010 election mean?

 
 
 
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