Both Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and a leading conservative Christian activist have weighed in on the race to win the Iowa Republican Party’s 2010 nomination for governor.  

Palin has endorsed Terry Branstad’s bid for a fifth term while Dr. James Dobson, founder of the Colorado-based “Focus on the Family” empire, endorsed Bob Vander Plaats today.

Palin sent out a tweet on Twitter and put up a post on Facebook. Palin cited the state motto of Iowa which is “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” She said “that motto will be well served by voting for Terry Branstad for governor next Tuesday!” 

Dobson’s endorsement was revealed in a Vander Plaats campaign email. Dobson called Vander Plaats a man of convictions who would ensure that the Republican Party stands for “something beyond simply winning elections and holding office.”  

Late today KCCI-TV in Des Moines released new polling data on the governor’s race, showing Branstad leading Vander Plaats by 15 percent, with 15 percent of those surveyed saying they were undecided about their vote in next Tuesday’s primary. The KCCI poll tested voter support in the race for the Iowa Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nomination as well.  The survey showed Roxanne Conlin far in front of her two competitors, with 48 percent support, however there was a large block of undecided voters.  Twenty-seven-percent of those questioned for the poll said they had not settled on a candidate in that U.S. Senate race.