Could Sarah Palin’s Lie Block Ayotte’s Path to Victory?

Tuck demolished the various falsehoods in Facebook Governor Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Kelly Ayotte, and I’ve highlighted this particular one, but here is some more context from NARAL that is worth mentioning:

Her description of anti-choice Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte’s record requires clarification. When endorsing Ayotte, Palin wrote that, as attorney general, Ayotte “battled all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of New Hampshire parents – and won!” Well, that statement is a surprise to the Supreme Court justices who voted to send Ayotte’s case back to a lower court. In short, she didn’t win. She didn’t even come close.

Furthermore, the law in question was repealed by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in New Hampshire about a year after Ayotte failed to make her case before the Supreme Court.

Of course, Sarah Palin’s endorsement has nothing to do with principles or ideology and is all about Sarah Palin looking out for herself and her 2012 chances in key primary states.

But did Palin just hurt Kelly Ayotte’s general election chances?

Ayotte’s stridently anti-choice record and positions have taken a back seat for much of this race.  But Palin just put them front and center.

This might help Ayotte stave off Bill Binnie’s momentum for the Republican primary, but it could seriously kneecap her chances against Paul Hodes if she makes it to nominee status.  And I say that leaving aside the net negative of a Palin endorsement per se among undeclared voters.

New Hampshire is a solidly pro-choice state.  How solidly?  In 2005, when SurveyUSA polled all fifty states on the “pro-life v. pro-choice” question, a whopping 67% of Granite Staters surveyed self-identified as “pro-choice”.  Only Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont had higher percentages than that.

It’ll be interesting watching a nominee Ayotte try to thread that needle.  I don’t think she can.

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