Tomorrow's GOP primary in Georgia could produce another victory for Republican kingmaker (or queenmaker) Sarah Palin. Last week, Palin endorsed Karen Handel, the Republican secretary of state, for governor over longtime insurance commissioner John Oxendine and former congressman Nathan Deal. The Wall Street Journal is calling Handel another "mama grizzly" and notes the effect of the Palin endorsement:
Just ahead of the Tuesday primary, Handel has jumped up six points to 29%, and is now leading her two strongest competitors, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine at 22% and and Rep. Nathan Deal at 20%.
The previous poll had Oxendine in the lead with 31%; 23% for Handel and 18% for Deal. If no one secures 50% of the vote—which is expected—the top two vote-getters will face off in a run-off election.
Another poll out today, this one by Insider Advantage/WSB, shows similar results. Even if Handel wins outright tomorrow, she'll likely have to face Oxendine in a run-off. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more on the Palin endorsement:
Carolyn Draper, 67, a retiree from White in Bartow County, is not set in her vote, but she has leaned toward Handel. She said Palin’s endorsement is a big deal to her.
“It influences me,” she said. “I am a very conservative person and I have very conservative values, and I think Sarah Palin does, too.”
Brunswick landscape contractor Powell Noble, 52, said he trusts Palin’s judgment.
“What I hear out of Sarah Palin is straight talk. I think anyone Sarah Palin endorses is worth putting in government,” he said.
This isn't the first time Palin endorsed has a statewide candidate in a Georgia election. Shortly after the 2008 election, she traveled to the state to rally for Sen. Saxby Chambliss in his run-off against Jim Martin. Chambliss credited Palin's support for his victory.
Michael Warren is a Collegiate Network fellow and editorial assistant at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.