PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell says Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for President could be just what Trump needs to pull ahead of his closest rivals in advance of the Iowa caucuses.

Rendell told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that Palin’s endorsement is not a game changer nationally, but with the polls in Iowa so tight, this could put Trump over the top there.

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“It probably will help a little bit. But right now, the race is Iowa is so close that even if it helps a half a percentage point, that’s big.”

Despite all the headlines that will result from Palin’s alliance with Trump, he stated that the voting public is usually familiar enough with top-of-the-ticket candidates to not need endorsements to make up their mind.

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“Normally, endorsements for President, when people know the candidates, don’t mean anything. If I endorse someone who is running for State Rep. who was a new a face, and people don’t have much information about state rep., that might be important…But, for President, when the public knows the candidates very well, endorsements have limited benefit. But again, Sarah Palin may just be one that has pretty good upside and not that much downside.”

Rendell also pointed out a potential drawback for Trump, who hasn’t relied on big name endorsements to this point in his quest for the White House.

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“I think Sarah Palin has a following and to that extent, I think it helps Donald. Although I think Donald is making a mistake in a sense that he’s campaigned so successfully as the outsider, as someone who is not tied to the Republican establishment. To start rolling out endorsements cuts against the theme of his campaign, which has been so successful up to now.”