Skip to comments.Republican Establishment Sweeps Tea Party in First Round of Primaries
Posted on 05/06/2014 10:08:26 PM PDT by PaulCruz2016
North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis won the Republican Senate nomination in the Tar Heel State on Tuesday evening, comfortably surpassing the 40 percent threshold to win the nomination. His victory ratifies the aggressive strategy adopted by establishment-oriented outside groups, led by American Crossroads, to spend millions on behalf of favored candidates and attack their rivals when necessary.
North Carolina was the opening battleground in the fight between the Republican Party's two main factions, and it's a sign the establishment's no-holds-barred strategy is paying off. American Crossroads spent $1.6 million on behalf of Tillis, significantly more than the resources of Republican challengers Greg Brannon and Mark Harris. They aired three ads, which each touted Tillis's conservative record and rebutted Democratic attacks against him.
The goal was simple: Increase Tillis's low name identification, knowing his opponents wouldn't have the resources to fight back. In January, the group commissioned a survey from veteran GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen showing Tillis only tallying 16 percent in the crowded field, with 60 percent of Republican voters unsure of their choice. Just over one-quarter of North Carolina GOP voters were familiar with Tillis. But in the middle of their advertising blitz in late April, another poll commissioned by Crossroads and conducted by van Lohuizen found Tillis's name identification had shot up to 66 percent, with him tallying 38 percent of the primary vote. That same poll showed only about one-third of voters familiar with Brannon and Harris.
Their strategy was twofold: Spend early to avoid a financially costly runoff that could wound Tillis for the general election and begin to make the case against embattled Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. It worked, with Tillis winning well over 40 percent across the board, in most North Carolina counties.
"The stakes were pretty high for us to get him there," American Crossroads Political Director Carl Forti said. "We may have had to spend significantly more to get [Tillis] through a runoff, and that's money that's not going to other important races."
The Karl Rove-aligned super PAC took heat last year from conservatives for announcing the formation of the Conservative Victory Project, an effort designed to prevent less-electable candidates from winning primaries. But with considerably less fanfare, the group achieved the same results by employing a similar strategy to boost Tillis. Crossroads officials said that it's likely they will get involved in additional primaries, given the successful outcome in North Carolina.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent over $1 million in ads backing Tillis, also saw two other endorsed candidates prevail in contested primariesRep. David Joyce in Ohio and North Carolina congressional candidate David Rouzer. The pro-business lobby attacked Joyce and Rouzer's conservative primary challengers as sleazy "trial lawyers" in ads, before they could catch any momentum. House Speaker John Boehner also comfortably prevailed in his primary, winning 69 percent of the vote.
The establishment is also gaining momentum in the run-up to the next wave of congressional primaries in Nebraska (May 13); Georgia, Idaho, and Kentucky (May 20); and Iowa and Mississippi (June 3). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to easily prevail against tea-party challenger Matt Bevin, despite outside conservative groups' involvement in support of Bevin. In a sign of early exuberance, Republican National Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox tweeted "next stop is that fraud Matt Bevin!" after the Associated Press called the race for Tillis.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho is now favored to fend off a challenge from Club for Growth-backed attorney Bryan Smith. Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst, the candidate favored by Iowa GOP Gov. Terry Branstad, is winning support from establishment allies (Mitt Romney) and tea-party favorites (Sarah Palin) alike. In Georgia, the weakest Republican candidates are fading in the primary, making it more likely Republicans will nominate a strong opponent against Democrat Michelle Nunn.
The establishment's biggest test will come in Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran is relying on allies aligned with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to fend off a serious challenge from state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is supported by leading outside conservative groups.
The establishment defeated Joe Miller when they announced that Murkowski could keep her seniority and the voters forgiven, if they voted against the republican candidate.
Get that? The GOPe will throw an election and not support the GOP candidate, even in the Senate, in service to fighting the Reagan wing.
Castle would also have lost in trying to take Biden’s seat.
Paul won his race, and how did the establishment do in their races?
All I remember about the GOP not being able to knock off the Senate majority leader, was that Palin didn’t endorse Angle in the primary.
The establishment got their heads handed to them in 2012, it was a massive loss, Rove lost all 10 or 11 of his races, Palin gave us our only Senate seat pickup, and Cruz won in Texas and is becoming a great figure.
You guys keep cherry picking, and ignoring massive defeats by the establishment, including 2006, and the loss of that 23rd district seat because it was another example of the GOPe preferring to lose elections, to keep out conservatives.
Ha, you tend to agree with the Democrats! Lets elect some more “qualified” Republicans, not those that are honorable, honest, smart, etc., lets just keep to the old adage, if you have experience in politics, elect them...geez! You and your ideas are hopeless. I can see the problem from Alaska!
With your attitude, we have no chance whatever!
You do like them, and I would like for you to figure out how the GOPe managed to lose to Jimmy Carter's second term, although Romney cleaned up HUGELY with the Independents.
Evidently he wasn't "the only game in town" and depressed turn out.
We have some angry people over health insurance issues and the expensive layers of bureaucrats and taxes that make up Obamacare. If the GOP can’t bring itself to attack on that issue then we do indeed need some 3rd party candidates out there.
Yes, that is what worries me. Tillis was backed by the Chamber of Commerce and you know they want to be paid back with an amnesty vote.
How can we hit the Chamber of Commerce where it hurts?
Interesting that you have two elections there, one who wasn't tea party, and one who couldn't take out Reid, and one who most agree lost trying to take Biden's seat, in a race that Castle would also have lost.
Now how about listing all the tea party gains, and then listing the many, many establishment losses, especially in 2012?
Does not mean I have to support them.
I agree absolutely! Waiting for the evolution of the Republican Party... Do not have a lot of hope though.
2010 was one the great historical victories for republican, and the GOPe has been erasing that fact ever since, instead of trumpeting that party history, and recovery from 2006.
Why do you think that is?
As far as 2012:
“In 2012, only three tea party candidates even made it to the general election, and two of them won. Meanwhile, 8 party-boss hand-picked Republicans won primaries against tea party candidates in states ranging from deep red to mild purple. They lost every single one of them. 0 for 8. Zero. Nada. None. This was a crop of the most electable candidates that the establishment could find, and they couldn’t win a single race.
And here comes the 0/8 establishment party bosses ready to hand-pick the “most electable” candidates ahead of the 2014 elections. The reality is that tea party candidates have won more races than establishment candidates have over the past two election cycles. Of course, winning more than 0 seats is not very hard to do.”
Really bad. They know most will vote for them anyway (gonna hold my nose etc). They are right to ignore us I suppose. This is quite depressing.
“It is discombobulated and they have no media front.”
The problem is that the Tea Party isn’t really a party, it’s just an idea, and in fact it pretty much a million different ideas since there is no structure, no platform, etc. In fact, the Tea Party is essentially a million Tea Parties of One.
Yup, its disjointed and not organized.
The good news is that Hagan is toast. Tillis won’t have to waste time, energy and money on a primary runoff, and the national Dems have already signaled that they would abandon Hagan resource-wise if Tillis won an outright victory
>> We saw how the Democrats buried TP Senate candidates in 2010 and 2012.
And in most cases, the GOP either abandoned or was also working against the TP candidates.
We need leaders and organizers.
Is it too late for someone to enter in the general election this November?
I would think so.
All the states are different though.
Brannon had been a ruling of $250,000 against him. Tillis would have eventually beaten him if that verdict did not get thrown out of court very soon.
Cruz and Dewhurst was the extreme example. Cruz actually won over Dewhurst voters when they found out Dewhurst was worse than Rick Perry.
Cruz got the same amount of votes as Dewhurst did in the first round. Dewhurst got the same as Cruz did in the first round. Cruz flipped a lot of people.
The same thing happened with Perry’s presidential campaign. They found out he was another Texas RINO.
NC had a pretty weak field of challengers and incumbents.
I hope Clay Aiken beats Ellmers. We can let a few lose.
They’re against Obamacare and spending. That’s it. They don’t make a peep about anything else. Life? Family? Guns? Not a word. They stand for nothing but a couple of non-controversial, low-hanging fruit issues that they’ve prattled on about for so long, even the people who agree with them are tired of hearing it.
Whatever the movement was four years, it’s been dismantled now. The NSA comprised, dem-lite GOP elites are the singular face of the opposition. We have a one-party, two-party system now.
Well, nice of you to note the money problem but...
This is an American issue - no, not just your State.
America is starting to wake up to the Government that we have elected and they are not pleased. Not the time to worry about Tea Party or Republican endorsement now, time to worry about if this party will survive. I say not but I am a lone voice among many. They just might get their act together but that is unlikely. They have too many bounds to business and even some other unlikely groups. Seems that they have been bought like their Democrat compatriots so expecting change is a pipe dream.
We are in the midst of a group of elected folks that are indebted to both businesses and individuals (Democratic billionaires). The American people are just pawns in this world and has little consequence until the revolution.
Don’t you wonder why elected politicians end up millionaires and billionaires when serving on such a paltry salary? Or, are you just happy to be getting the scraps that they hand out? Mercy, what a bunch of mercenaries we are....
What, I did not say that...slip of the tongue.
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