Meyer faces several men in the Aug. 17 primary – including state House Speaker Colin Simpson, son of former Sen. Alan Simpson (R) – and fares slightly better than each of them in a recent Rasmussen Poll matching the various Republicans against possible Democratic nominees. No matter the matchup, the Republican beats the Democrat by about a 2-1 margin, according to the poll. In short, the winner of the Republican primary has an excellent shot at winning the governor’s race.
Palin’s endorsement seemed to have a big impact on South Carolina's Republican gubernatorial primary, in which she endorsed state Rep. Nikki Haley. Representative Haley was already on the rise when Palin came in, having been touted previously by RedState blogger Erick Erickson and columnist Kathleen Parker, and endorsed by expected 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But no one has the star power of Palin. And Haley shocked the field by attracting so many votes in the first round of the primary that she almost avoided a runoff.