Get PJ Media on your Apple

Tea Party Challenges Stumbling as Primaries Approach

Of the 12 GOP senators seeking re-election, seven still await primaries. Polls show incumbents, in most cases, maintaining substantial leads.

by
Bill Straub

Bio

April 11, 2014 - 11:19 pm
Page 1 of 4  Next ->   View as Single Page

WASHINGTON – Lawmakers with strong ties to the Tea Party movement have gained a toehold in the U.S. Senate but it appears they might have difficulty expanding their numbers this year.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are among those associated with the conservative, grassroots drive that has proved influential within Republican Party politics in a relatively short period of time. But a review of upcoming Senate contests reveals that more establishmentarian Senate candidates maintain an edge – at least to this point – heading into the primary season.

Conservative disaffection for the manner in which mainstream Republicans are confronting President Obama and his policies, coupled with ongoing spending issues, have resulted in a higher than usual number of challenges to GOP incumbents.

Yet, in the first showdown of the primary season, establishment Republicans won hands down, with Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, blasting Rep. Steven Stockman (R-Texas) by more than 40 points. Cornyn is overwhelmingly favored to win a third term in the fall.

“I think we are going to crush them everywhere,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who faces his own Tea Party challenge this year from Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. “I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”

Tea Party supporters were heartened by the results in 2010 when incumbent Republican senator Bob Bennett, of Utah, lost to movement favorite Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) at the state’s GOP convention and when Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) lost the Republican primary to Joe Miller, although Murkowski recaptured her seat in a write-in campaign.

The Tea Party tasted success – though short-lived — again in 2012 when Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock defeated Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who was seeking a seventh term, in the GOP primary. Mourdock lost to Sen. Joe Donnelly, (D-Ind.) in the general election.

Despite some successful challenges, almost 99 percent of congressional incumbents won their primaries in 2012. History shows that since 1946 only five percent of such challenges have result in the office-holder losing his or her party’s nomination. This year 28 incumbents – 12 Republicans — are seeking reelection in the 36 Senate seats up for grabs. If the past is any guide, only one incumbent can expect to lose his or her re-nomination fight.

Of the 12 Republicans seeking re-election, seven – not counting Cornyn – are facing primary challenges. Polls show the incumbents, in most cases, maintaining substantial leads.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
It's more accurate to say that Americans are inundated with propaganda- which conservatives have been lazy to counter. Educated and intelligent people are susceptible to propaganda, perhaps especially so. Common sense is a better shield.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry, but this is why I've re-registered Independent: there is no conservative party, just a different flavor of "progressive." Any candidate who is not openly and aggressively conservative is a stalking horse for the progressives. The GOP has given up and decided that the only way to electoral victory is to ape the British Tories and be as socialist as the Dems, only smarter!

I'm glad I'm old. I won't have to watch as the country descends into a socialist hell-hole, stupidly wondering how it got there.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Tea Party will have to return to its libertarian roots if it wants success like 2010. It should nominate pro-liberty candidates on economic issues who want to reign in government power. But it should also nominate candidates who want to reign in government power on other issues, i.e. pro-choice, pro-gay, and a less interventionist foreign policy.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (58)
All Comments   (58)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
One reason why I am opposed to the Tea Party is that they steadfastly cling to a candidate even when that candidate's election chances are nil. If they had not clung to Ms. Angle in Nevada, we might not be continuing with Harry Reid. The "grass roots" supporters of the rancher in Nevada are unlikely to win any great victory.....the rancher did not pay for the food his animals consumed. SOMEONE must pay or the rest of us pick up the tab. Nothing is free!.....,Freebies are one of the mainstays of the Democrat party and the rest of us don't like that. Just because the recipient is a rancher and not a ghetto dweller doesn't make right.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
In Pennsylvania, a very interesting circumstance is occurring in the governor's race. Bob Guzzardi, a tea party guy, is taking on Tom Corbett and pointingly refusing campaign donations.

Corbett is challenging Bob's place on the ballot and a final decision has yet to be made but the incumbent is obviously scared.

http://blog.billlawrenceonline.com/2014/04/14/guzzardi-explains-campaign.aspx
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The devil they know must now adjust to the right having been challenged and knowing challengers are there, are watching carefully, and will keep coming.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes incumbents have always held an enormous advantage. But it is clear from McConnell's aggressive remarks that the conservative/Tea-Party challenge has his full attention. And that's a good thing for those of us who have lost nearly all faith in the GOP leadership. Also encouraging are the number of incumbents that are stepping down before the present anti-Washington storm hits. I think there is a pretty decent chance of Bevin knocking off McConnell, and of Daniels taking out Cochran. Sarah Palin's choice in Nebraska, Sasse, looks very good in beating the establishment favorite: Osborn. Talking heads love to prattle on about the fading away of the grassroots movements, but it makes little sense to me, considering the ever-increasing deterioration of the country (economically, militarily, diplomatically -- you name it), which means that voter agitation and anger will continue to mount. In short: the Tea Party isn't going anywhere.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think PJM is stumbling as the primaries approach. A few dozen comments on an average thread versus hundreds for a lot of actually conservative blogs, and nothing seems to be changing.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did Karl Rove write this article? Or was it Megen McCain?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Tea Partiers do some very stupid things......like nominating non -winners. The Republican party left me when they chose its far right agenda but the tea party is equally stupid.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Far right agenda? Are your George Soros? Really, you can tell me.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Very dubious language in this piece. The headline tries to mask said dubiousness by outright claiming "stumbles", and then the body is filled with phrases such as "might have difficulty", "if the past is any guide", et cetera. Victories for the GOP establishment are victories for the Democrats, Onesies Media.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Way too much pessimism here. Will challengers win all these races? No. Are there chances to pick off a few of these RINOs? Absolutely! Many of these primaries are weeks, some months, away. Please do not give into defeatism. Turnout is key and polling matters less in these cases, especially in closed primaries. There is still time to make a very LOUD statement this year. Here's the dates:
May 6 -- North Carolina
May 13 -- Nebraska
May 20 -- Idaho and Kentucky
June 3 -- Mississippi
June 10 -- South Carolina
June 24 -- Oklahoma
August 5 -- Kansas
August 7 -- Tennessee

It would really help the conservative cause if we waited until things were over before declaring defeat.

Finally, in spite of how well or poorly these candidates for Federal office do, everyone needs to get to work supporting an Article V convention of the States.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am a former Republican who really resents all these far right primaries. They choose the candidates before most of the country has a chance to vote. I became an Independent when one of the Republican's illustrious members called me a murderer because I am pro-choice. I think there are many like me who resent this takeover by the extreme right.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The R party has been reliably pro-life since abortion emerged as a national issue 40yrs ago when the Supreme Ct legalized it.
However, over that same period the Ds have managed to purge the many pro-lifers once in their ranks.

We haven't changed - you have.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was a Republican long before Reagan ran for any office. My mother and grandmother were pro-choice. The Republican party has become the party of Reagan, It changed!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Takeover by the extreme right"? You sound like name calling Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. You must have absolutely hated Ronald Reagan.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I always thought Reagan was a glib, over-rated politician....a former Democrat.... and I never liked Nancy.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
If all of these contests go the way they currently are headed then not much will happen to effect change at the Federal level. That leaves the State level which does not look too promising at the moment either. That leaves the financial situation to effect change - a scary proposition but one which seems ever more likely to be the choice made - and that 'choice' is like a cheap car - it doesn't come with many options.

Is this where the Obama Administration is purposely leading us? Maybe - maybe not. But its where we are headed if we cannot get our finances in order soon. And I see no way in which that will happen with a Congress full of progressives - and I count all but a handful of the republicans as progressives.

The more I read/listen to the likes of Glenn Beck and Alex Jones the more sense they make. Scary isn't it?

35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All