Palin's winning streak ends in Missouri

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's (R) hot streak of backing winning candidates in contested primaries ended Tuesday, as her preferred candidate, former Missouri state Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R), lost her Senate primary.

Palin, who had endorsed many long-shot candidates in 2010, only to see them lose, has been much more careful in her endorsements this cycle — and the results had paid off. 

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Her biggest win was with Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fischer (R), who pulled off a shocking upset win for Nebraska's open Senate seat. But she'd also jumped in for a number of Tea Party candidates who already had the momentum, including Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R). She's also backed two establishment picks against insurgent candidates: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who easily won his primary, and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is expected to win his late-August race.

Palin's support of Steelman unquestionably gave the candidate a late boost — both of her opponents said they'd seen a surge in support for her in the closing days of the race after Palin endorsed and came in to stump with her. But it wasn't enough, and Steelman finished in third place with 29 percent of the vote.

The former Alaska governor is backing two more candidates facing tough races: Freshman Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.) is facing off against longtime Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) next Tuesday, in a race where Mica is thought of as the favorite, and former talk radio host Martha Zoller (R) is in a Georgia House primary runoff where she seems to have the edge.

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