Sarah Palin has lost the magic. The defeat of her choice Tuesday in a Republican Senate primary in her home state of Alaska capped a primary season in which her favored candidates have stumbled across the nation.
A referendum to restore Palin’s signature achievement from her time as Alaska governor, a state tax on oil companies, was also headed toward defeat following Tuesday’s voting, dealing a double whammy loss to Palin in her home state and highlighting her declining influence.
Only four of the 15 congressional candidates endorsed by Palin nationwide this year have won their primaries, a far worse record than the previous two elections, when Palin played a role as kingmaker and her approval was eagerly sought by candidates looking for an edge with Republican voters.
Palin remains talented at raising money. “But her influence on the actual political process is diminishing rapidly,” said John Feehery, a Republican political consultant and former aide to GOP leadership in the House of Representatives.