Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) said Wednesday evening that Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) might not face a primary challenge like other GOP lawmakers who have voted with Democrats.
Palin has backed a number of candidates in congressional races this cycle who are favorites of the Tea Party movement. One of her beneficiaries, Joe Miller, leads Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) in the state's Senate primary with vote counting still underway.
“That’s Massachusetts and perhaps they are not going to look for such a hardcore constitutional conservative there, and they are going to put up with Scott Brown and the antics there," she said Wednesday evening on Fox Business Network. "But up here in Alaska and in so many places across the U.S., where we have a pioneering independent spirit and an expectation that the representative in D.C. will respect the will of the people and the intelligence of the people; we wouldn’t stand for that."
Even though Palin did not encourage a Brown primary, it appears she won't be endorsing him for now.
For the most part, Palin's endorsements have fueled the anti-incumbent attitude of voters this cycle. For example, she endorsed South Carolina state Rep. Nikki Haley (R) in the state's gubernatorial primary against other establishment candidates. Haley ended up winning the race.
Should Murkowski lose, she would become the third incumbent senator, and the second Republican senator, to lose her seat because of a primary challenge.
Colin Reed, a spokesman for Brown, said that the senator is focused
constituents and pursuing issues on which all Republicans can agree.
"Senator Brown's votes are based on what's in the best interests of Massachusetts and he has made his priorities job creation, controlling spending and reducing the deficit. All Republicans can agree on that," he said.
Brown attracted widespread Tea Party support in his bid to take the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's (D-Mass.) former seat during the healthcare debate. But since he entered Congress, Brown has voted with Democrats on some issues such as jobs legislation.
The Massachusetts senator faces reelection in 2012 and some have surmised that he and other Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham (S.C.) could face a challenge from the right.
-- This post was updated at 3:33 p.m.