Palin backs Tea Party candidate in Delaware's Republican Senate primary

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) announced Thursday she has endorsed Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell against Rep. Mike Castle (R) in Delaware's Republican Senate primary.

Palin slipped the announcement in during a short interview Thursday afternoon with conservative radio host Sean Hannity. 

Hannity tweeted the news shortly afterward.

"Thanks @SarahPalinUSA for the last minute call in. Endorsement of Christine O'Donnell was an exclusive. Said she hadn't told Christine yet," he said.

O'Donnell confirmed the news a few minutes later.

"Just got Gov. Palin's endorsement!" she tweeted. "Thank you for your prayers!"

She then thanked Palin with another tweet.

"@sarahpalinusa Thank you for your clear confidence in my candidacy. Strong conservative women will take our country back!"

Several hours later, Palin tweeted a link to a Facebook note officially endorsing O'Donnell. 

"Please support Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. She will support efforts for America’s energy security, patient-centered health care reform, cutting government waste, and letting the private sector thrive and prosper! it read.

Palin's endorsement record has been mixed this campaign cycle. She has had some big wins — such as S.C. gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle, and Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller — and some prominent losses, like Kansas Senate candidate Todd Tiahrt, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel and Pennsylvania House candidate Tim Burns. 

Castle, meanwhile, has endorsements for several leading Republicans, including N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, and has the backing of the party. 

The primary is Sept. 14.

This post was updated at 5:57 pm.

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