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Do new endorsements mean Mitt Romney is finally winning over the GOP?

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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (one of Sarah Palin's "Mama Grizzlies") is one of the most high-profile recent examples. And he has the endorsement of Christine O'Donnell – the tea party favorite who won the Delaware primary (and lost the general election) despite having the GOP establishment against her.

This week he got the Des Moines Register endorsement too (although according to New York Times polling analyst Nate Silver, their track record for choosing candidates is mixed).

Certainly, some of the most important GOP figures are still waiting to give their blessing. The Washington Post's endorsement tracker shows just 9 of the 50 Republican VIPs it's watching, six of whom have endorsed Romney.

And endorsements – particularly taken individually – only carry so much weight. But if they continue to pile up in Romney's favor, they could start to give a collective boost to a candidate notable for his consistency but who has still struggled to generate enthusiasm among a big swath of the electorate.

"Elected officials rarely 'deliver' votes in the manner of the party bosses who once controlled large blocks of convention delegates," notes a HuffPost analysis. "But political scientists have demonstrated that endorsements by party leaders and activists are an important indicator of the state of consensus on a presidential nominee."

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