The audio: Sarah Palin is exercising her clout in Delaware's hotly contested Republican Senate primary, endorsing Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell — who has surged into the lead in polls ahead of today's vote — and following up with a robocall entreaty to GOP voters (listen below). In the recorded message, Palin accuses supporters of mainstream favorite Rep. Mike Castle of "vicious personal attacks" for calling attention to O'Donnell's past financial woes and questioning her accounts of her education, and suggests the tactics reveal the "establishment's desperation."
The reaction: Palin's line about nasty personal attacks could "resonate" with voters who have financial problems of their own, says Chris Good at The Atlantic. Her robocalls helped put Joe Miller over the top in Alaska's GOP primary — she may just "recreate the magic" in Delaware. Palin may regret getting involved, says Jeremy P. Jacobs at the National Journal. Castle is far more likely to beat Democrat Chris Coons in the general election, and Palin's endorsement clearly deepens the divide between mainstream Republicans and Tea Partiers — witness Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer's description of Palin's involvement as "disruptive and capricious." Listen to a recording of Palin's robocall: