Menendez: Palin's efforts 'helping' Democrats

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's (R) work for Republican candidates is "helping" Democrats, their Senate campaign chief said Friday.

Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), said that Democrats would have an easier road to holding onto their seats this fall due to Palin's choice of candidates.

"I appreciate Sarah Palin helping us by having candidates [who] are rather extreme for their states," Menendez said during an appearance on MSNBC. "If she wants to continue to endorse candidates that are out of the mainstream, in places like Arizona and Colorado, then let her continue to do so."

Palin has been an active participant in Republican primaries in House, Senate and gubernatorial elections throughout the year, backing candidates through missives on her Facebook page and donations from her SarahPAC.

Many of the candidates Palin has backed have fallen squarely in the camp of the "Tea Party" movement, the more stridently conservative faction that's made itself known in GOP primaries throughout the country. Those primaries have resulted in a number of first-time candidates: Sharron Angle in Nevada, Rand Paul in Kentucky and others.

But those primaries have also meant defeat for many of the Republican candidates in those races Democrats feared most come November. Top-tier recruits like former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) in Connecticut lost or withdrew from many races, leaving states like Connecticut with GOP nominees like former WWE CEO Linda McMahon.

Palin has put a special emphasis on conservative women in general, who are running in competitive races across the county.

These "mama grizzles" as Palin calls them, includes women like California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, who she's formally endorsed, and women like McMahon and Angle, who have not received a formal nod of approval from the former governor.

"This year will be remembered as the year that common-sense conservative women get things done for our country," Palin said in a speech, as highlighted in a video released by her political action committee on Thursday.

Menendez brushed off the success Palin has had in more reliably red states, where she's managed to help more conservative candidates snag the GOP nomination.

"Well, South Carolina is not a place that we would be playing in these races," he said. "I'm not worried about Sarah Palin; I'm happy that she's supporting candidates that are winning against the establishment, and are out of the mainstream for the electorate in the general election."

Updated at 9:28 a.m. and 11:16 a.m.