(Steven Shepard | POLITICO) – When Sarah Palin backed Donald Trump in Iowa this week, Trump said it was an endorsement that his closest competitor, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, “desperately wanted.”
According to The POLITICO Caucus — an influential panel of strategists, activists and operatives in the first four nominating states — the Palin endorsement won’t move the needle for Trump significantly. But it could still hurt Cruz, who is leading in the polls among the most conservative caucusgoers.
More than 8-in-10 Republican insiders said Palin’s backing would have little or no impact on Trump’s campaign.
“The endorsement gave Trump a lot of free press,” said one Iowa GOP insider, “but Sarah Palin’s star power with Iowa conservatives faded a long time ago.”
Palin’s “main impact will be to underscore that not even Ted Cruz’s friends like Ted Cruz,” another Iowa Republican said. “It denied him another media cycle or two, and he hasn’t had a good one for many weeks.”