A look at Sarah Palin’s 15 Facebook endorsements

May 18, 2010 04:20

First-time candidate Tim Burns in Pennsylvania raised $80,000 for his congressional campaign in 72 hours. Sean Duffy, a unknown candidate from Wisconsin, raised about $40,000. How did they do it? Each got an endorsement on Facebook from Sarah Palin.

By Alex PappasThe Daily Caller

A review of Palin’s Facebook page shows that the former Alaska governor has endorsed 15 candidates on the social network. All but four are men, and all but one are Republican (Palin supported the conservative party candidate in the NY-23 congressional race).

For better-known candidates, a Palin endorsement carries the implied support of the grassroots Tea Party activists. Sometimes those endorsements come with personal appearances. Palin’s endorsement of Rick Perry in Texas, for example, helped attract 10,000 people to a rally earlier this year on Super Bowl Sunday for his campaign for governor. Perry defeated Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison several weeks later.

In the case of Sean Duffy, a small-town district attorney, Palin’s support may have been decisive. Duffy was challenging Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who is among the longest-serving House members. After Palin took to Facebook to endorse Duffy in February, his fundraising exploded. About 300 individual contributions arrived the first day. At the end of the first week, Duffy had raised $30,000, with thousands more arriving the following weeks. By the beginning of May, Obey had announced his retirement.

When Palin endorsed Tim Burns, who is vying to pick up the long-held Democratic seat of Rep. Jack Murtha in Pennsylvania, he reportedly raised $80,000 in the 72 hours afterwards. Asked to confirm that amount, spokesman Kent Gates would only say the campaign’s online fundraising operation was “very successful” the week of the endorsement.

Palin’s success on Facebok suggests that with more traditional approaches, she’d be able to raise even more money. Yet so far she has shown little interest in moving beyond social media.


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