When Governor Sarah Palin endorsed Conservative Party candidate in New York for Congress, she took quite a big risk. If Hoffman would lose, especially against Republican Dede Scozzafava, many would interpret it as a sure sign that Palin’s power, popularity and influence are dramatically overestimated. And, it has to be said, considering the fact that Hoffman did not have the backing of any political machine, chances were he would indeed lose.
Hoffman does not represent the Republican Party but New York’s Conservative Party; a party populated by men and women who are fed up with ‘Republicans’ running as small government Republicans to get elected, only to forget all their principles once they actually arrive in Washington, D.C. Although many voters can recognize themselves in the aforementioned, many vote for candidates of the traditional parties nonetheless. The reason: the Democratic Party and the GOP have money. And lots of it. An Independent candidate can spend less on PR, advertisements, etc. In the age of television, this lack of funds is a tremendous disadvantage.
This is why Hoffman trailed his Republican and Democratic opponents in the polls. Until, that is, Palin announced her support for the conservative New Yorker. Suddenly, Hoffman received a lot of free coverage and a lot of money, because Palin not only used her SarahPAC to donate to his campaign, she also called on her FaceBook fans to do the same. The result? Hoffman is now leading in the polls and he suddenly has more funds available than his Republican rival.
Once Palin threw her support behind Hoffman, other prominent Republicans and conservatives have done the same. Fox News host Glenn Beck endorsed Hoffman yesterday, as did one of the top favorites for the presidential nomination of the GOP in 2012, Governor Tim Pawlenty. The reason for the sudden support is crystal clear: once Palin endorsed Hoffman, other Republicans could also find the courage to revolt against the official leadership of their party.
Not a small accomplishment for a pretty gal from Alaska, I’d say.