Two of Fox News' most prominent politicians-turned-TV pundits aren't only competitors in hypothetical matchups for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination -- they're also frequently at opposite ends in contested Republican primaries.
Fox News' Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, both contributors and hosts for the conservative channel, are supporting different Republican candidates running in three major contested primaries on June 8.
South Carolina Governor [June 8]
Huckabee: Andre Bauer. Palin: Nikki Haley
Huckabee filmed a TV ad for Bauer and Huckabee's PAC donated to the campaign. Palin, in turn, has recorded a robocall for Haley (Greg Sargent raised questions about whether Palin's robocall violates South Carolina law; Haley's campaign claims it's legal).
U.S. Senate, California [June 8]
Huckabee: Chuck DeVore. Palin: Carly Fiorina
Palin's endorsement of Fiorina -- who served as a senior adviser for McCain-Palin '08 -- caused grumbling among conservative activists, who view DeVore as the more conservative candidate.
As Politico's Ben Smith noted, "Huckabee has been waging a kind of passive-aggressive new media campaign on the issue. Soon after Palin's announcement, he changed his Facebook status to read, 'Just wanted to reiterate my support today for the strongest, proven conservative in the California Senate Race: Chuck DeVore.' Now check out his Twitter background."
Iowa Governor [June 8]
Huckabee: Bob Vander Plaats. Palin: Terry Brandstad
Vander Plaats is the former Iowa campaign chairman for Huckabee's 2008 presidential bid. Aside from political loyalty, Huckabee has a big reason to support Vander Plaats: Huckabee won the Iowa caucus. Huckabee has campaigned and fundraised for Vander Plaats. His PAC has also given money to him.
Mississippi's 1st CD [Decided]
Huckabee: Alan Nunnelee [winner]. Palin: Angela McGlowan
Huckabee has fundraised for Nunnelee, and his PAC has donated to him. Nunnellee was considered a frontrunner for the nomination. Palin's late endorsement of McGlowan -- a former Fox News contributor -- was a dud. McGlowan, who raised relatively little money, finished far behind Nunnellee and second place finisher Henry Ross.
While there's no indication that Huckabee and Palin's competing endorsements are tied to each other, they have (politely) criticized each other in the past. While saying that her "heart goes out to Huckabee," Palin said his granting of clemency to convicted armed robber Maurice Clemmons as Arkansas governor "was a horrible decision that he made." After Palin resigned the Alaska governor's office, Huckabee -- who describes himself as a "Palin fan" -- raised questions about the timing.