The Palin factor in Maryland

I noted here that Sarah Palin has endorsed Patrick Murphy, a 33-year old political unknown, for Governor of Maryland. The endorsement has raised Murphy’s profile and helped him substantially with fundraising. But the consensus in the state is that it will not enable him to pose a serious threat to frontrunner Robert Ehrlich.
The best assessment of Palin’s impact on the race may be that of Carmen Amedori, who agreed in April to be Murphy’s running mate but backed out two weeks later because she figured he had no chance. Amedori’s view, according to the Washington Post, is that prior to Palin’s endorsement, Murphy figured to capture approximately 20 percent of the vote. With the endorsement, she thinks Murphy’s share might rise to 25 percent.
It is still unclear why Palin decided to endorse Murphy, who acknowledges that the two never spoke before she made her decision. To be sure, Ehrlich is not as conservative as Palin, but neither is Terry Branstad, Palin’s choice in the Iowa gubernatorial primary.
Perhaps Palin is looking to future, seeing in Murphy a promising conservative politician who deserves a boost and who might be a useful ally down the road

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