Florida's Rubio Would Welcome Palin Endorsement

MIAMI, Fla. --  As Sarah Palin takes her whirlwind book tour to the Sunshine State next week, at least one Republican Senate primary candidate is welcoming an endorsement from the former vice presidential nominee. 

Marco Rubio has no scheduled meeting with Palin, who will be in Jacksonville, Orlando and The Villages retirement community on Tuesday, but the former Florida House speaker's spokesman said the campaign would fully appreciate support from the former Alaska governor and best-selling author.

"There are a lot of things that Marco admires of her, There are a lot of things that they agree on." Communications Director Alex Burgos said in an interview with Fox News on Saturday. "He'd be honored to have her support of him."

Burgos said both Palin and Rubio have comparable ideological positions and both had similar philosophies in their respective elected positions. 

"They have both been reformers in their political career," Burgos said. "They both opposed the stimulus. They are both strongly pro-life."

As of now, Palin has side-stepped endorsing either Rubio or frontrunner Gov. Charlie Crist, who has seen his lead narrow in recent weeks. Crist still has a sizable advantage in fund-raising dollars and name recognition than Rubio's upstart campaign.

But some Republican analysts say a Palin endorsement could be a double-edge sword in the crucially important swing state of Florida.

"A Palin endorsement of Rubio gives a boost in the short term because of attention it brings," said Doug Heye a GOP campaign analyst and a campaign veteran. "It helps Charlie Crist in the long term. To win a primary in a state as large as Florida, a candidate needs a broad base of support within the party. The people who support Palin already support Marco Rubio, and many of the primary voters up for grabs are not Palin supporters."

However, Heye noted a Palin endorsement is a conversation starter.

"Of course, either candidate would welcome the endorsement," he said.