Why is the Wash. Post artificially inflating Palin's endorsement success?

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

When Sarah Palin decided that she could better serve America by writing Facebook endorsements for Republicans running for office instead of actually holding a political office, the Washington Post decided they'd help out her new career path and create a webpage devoted specifically to tracking Palin's endorsements and the successes, or failures, of her preferred candidates. After racking up a streak of victories, Palin went on something of a skid and as of last week she boasted 11 candidates who had won their primaries and 10 who had lost -- about what you'd expect if she had picked her candidates at random.

Obviously, sitting at just above .500 doesn't look good when you're trying to crown yourself a political kingmaker, so Palin came out with a new series of endorsements last week hoping to improve her average. And, if you check the Washington Post's endorsement tracker, you'll see her average has improved since then -- the Post now says she has picked 16 winning candidates and 10 losers.

There's just one problem: none of Palin's newly endorsed candidates have won any elections since she endorsed them. The Post is giving Palin credit for endorsing candidates who had already won their primaries, in some cases months ago.

Here's their endorsement map, as it appears right now. You'll notice five candidates colored in green with yellow starbursts around them, indicating that they were recently endorsed by Palin and have won their respective primaries.

But click on the icons and you'll notice the dates don't match up at all.

Nevada Republican Sharron Angle won her Senate primary on June 8, and Palin endorsed her 71 days later on August 18. Vickie Hartzler won her Missouri House primary on August 3, and Palin's endorsement came 15 days later. Indiana congressional candidate Jackie Walorski and North Carolina's Renee Ellmers won on May 4; and Alabama's Martha Roby won on June 1. They also weren't endorsed by Palin until August 18.

Perhaps this is just a glitch in the Post's system, but as it stands right now they're giving Palin credit for helping to elect candidates who managed to win without Palin's endorsement.

Posted In
The Washington Post
Sarah Palin
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