The Spectacle Blog

Santorum Endorses Fiorina

By on 5.11.10 | 10:25AM

Rick Santorum has endorsed Carly Fiorina in the California Senate race, giving Fiorina another prominent conservative backer following the Sarah Palin endorsement.

If you read Santorum's statement, or watch video of him describing his decision on Fox, it's pretty clear that he sees Fiorina as the most electable conservative candidate.

After the Palin endorsement, the Chuck DeVore campaign took solace in the fact that there was a backlash against Palin among some Tea Partiers for endorsing Fiorina. In the case of Santorum, critics of Fiorina could point out that he endorsed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in the 2004 Pennsylvania Senate primary. And DeVore claims the support of Jim DeMint and Mike Huckabee.

With that said, the difficullty for DeVore is that he can't afford to split conservative support with Fiorina. Far behind in money and resources, DeVore's chances rested on his ability to consolidate conservatives, tap into the grassroots energy, and gain parity through online fundraising. But unlike Marco Rubio in Florida, DeVore has not been able to catch fire, and it's hard to see that happening with less than a month to go before the June 8 primary.

When Tom Campbell entered the race, the development was largely viewed as something that would be more damaging to Fiorina. And for sure, Fiorina still trails Campbell in most polls. But in the end, Campbell's candidacy may have hurt DeVore, because the presence of a moderate to liberal Republican in the race has enabled Fiorina to appear more conservative.

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