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GOP bandwagon runs on ‘Palin Power’
“To the women of the 10th District, there is nothing encouraging about Palin’s extreme political views, including her opposition to a woman’s right to choose even in the cases of incest and rape, equal pay for equal work, and gun control. Nor is her support for abstinence-only sex education, teaching creationism in our schools and banning books from our public libraries,” the women wrote in their letter, though some of their claims such as book banning have been discredited by political fact-checking organizations.
For now, there are more questions than answers about Mrs. Palin’s effect on the fate of Republicans in specific down-ticket races.
This week, several new polls showed Senate races closer than they used to be. In at least one of those contests — in Alaska, where Sen. Ted Stevens, a Republican, is facing a bruising re-election battle — Mrs. Palin is being given credit.
Mr. Stevens has closed a more than 15-point gap to enter into a statistical tie with his Democratic challenger, Mark Begich, and in a polling memo, his campaign said that’s partly because enthusiasm after Mrs. Palin’s selection “has gone through the roof.”
But Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said that race also exposes the problems for Mrs. Palin. Mr. Stevens faces trial on federal charges of not reporting gifts he received, and Mrs. Palin has not yet said whether she backs Mr. Stevens‘ bid for re-election.
There’s not much question Republicans see Mrs. Palin’s popularity as nothing but positive, and they are rushing to try to transfer some of it to themselves.
And they say the shot of enthusiasm extends up and down the line.
“We have not had a string of weeks of positive momentum like this in years. Maybe it’s not all due to her, but she has been a real motivating force,” Mr. Cantor said.
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