ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and Gregory Simmons report:
If the game of political endorsements was measured in baseball terms, Sarah Palin would be batting almost .580,* although like any player, she’s had her winning streaks and she’s had her slumps.
Earlier this year, Sarah Palin seemed like a Republican king- and queen-maker, helping candidates score a string of victories in hard-fought Republican primaries in South Carolina, Kentucky, California, New Mexico, Iowa, Texas and elsewhere.
Since July 20 and up until last night , six Palin-supported candidates had been on the ballot and all had lost. Palin was batting .500: Overall, in competitive races this year, half her candidates had won; half had lost.
Last night catapulted Palin back into a winning streak as John McCain beat out JD Hayworth for the GOP nomination for Senate in Arizona. The Alaska GOP primary election results ended with a race too close to call, setting the stage for the biggest upset of the 2010 mid-term elections.
In a test of her political clout in her own backyard, Palin has thrown her full weight behind rookie politician Joe Miller, a tea partier known to attract heavily armed supporters at his political rallies. Perhaps taking a page out of McCain’s maverick playbook, Palin’s endorsement flies in the face of the Republican establishment who have stood firmly behind incumbent Republican Senator Lisa Murkowksi.
Palin recorded a robo call for Miller saying, “He's got the backbone to confront Obama's radical agenda. By contrast, Lisa Murkowski has voted with Democrats more than any Republican up for re-election this year. “
Miller is one of the most right-wing Senate candidates in the country this year, even telling ABC’s “Top Line” he wants to do away with unemployment benefits on the basis that they are unconstitutional.
Whatever happens in Alaska, it’s clear the Tea Party movement has a strong batting average as well and, like Palin, has already had a big impact on the Republican party this year. So far, tea partiers have emerged as the Republican candidates of choice in more than a third of this year's top Senate races.
Below is ABC’s list of how candidates Palin has endorsed* have done in their primaries:
WIN TX Governor’s Race - Rick Perry 5/2
WIN KY Senate Race - Rand Paul 5/18
LOSS AR-3 House Race- Cecile Bledsoe 5/18
LOSS ID-1 House Race- Vaughn Ward 5/25
WIN NM Governor’s Race - Susana Martinez 6/1
WIN SC Governor’s Race- Nikki Haley 6/8
WIN SC-1 House Race - Tim Scott 6/8
WIN CA Governor’s Race- Carly Fiorina 6/8
WIN IA Governor’s Race - Terry Brantstad 6/8
WIN OK Governor’s Race - Mary Fallin 6/27
LOSS GA Governor’s Race - Karen Handle 7/20
LOSS KS Senate Race - Todd Tiahrt 8/3
LOSS TN- 5 House Race - CeCe Heil 8/5
LOSS CO-3 House Race- Bob McConnell 8/10
LOSS WY Governor’s Race - Rita Meyer 8/17
LOSS WA Senate Race- Clint Didier 8/17
WIN AZ Senate Race - Senator John McCain 8/24
WIN AZ-1 HOUSE RACE- Paul Gosar 8/24
WIN FL-22 HOUSE RACE - Allen West 8/24
*Candidates had to be in competitive primaries and endorsed by Palin before they won their primary to be calculated in Palin’s batting average.