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.
Tea Party is getting swamped because the low information candidates they run are easy pickings for the Democrats.
We saw how the Democrats buried TP Senate candidates in 2010 and 2012.
No wonder Harry Reid loved them and their political missteps were the comedic fodder for late night comedians.
Hard to win against the establishment when they have so much money on their side.
Too bad they wasted all that money. Who do they think will vote for them? Libtards? The GOPe stepped on it. Unless they can now get votes the way Rats do, fraud and bought.
Wow, they may win in advertisements but will they win in votes? If they continue to piss off the Tea Party, they will only be defeating themselves. Such are the idiot Republicans! Sorry, but I tend to hate all politicians and when they have been in office for some time, they are the enemy.
And they recruited better candidates. The establishment knows a thing or two about winning elections.
We don’t have to like them but they’re the only game in town.
The GOPe deserves big losses in November
Conservatives are idiotic imbeciles if they remain in the GOP.
Our ideology is about to be rendered totally irrelevant because we bought the lie that Conservatism cannot win as a third party when the Ruling Class own and runs the GOP according to their rules.
I thought the tea party did pretty well in 2010, and in 2012.
Cruz made 2012 worthwhile.
Amnesty is a done deal now. The GOOBs know they can be DemocRATS Lite and still win.
My brother honestly told me 2 months ago he does not know what the Tea Party stands for.
It is discombobulated and they have no media front.
Your propaganda never stops, from foreign affairs to domestic politics.
Really? They blew winnable contests in Nevada, Delaware, Indiana and Missouri.
No wonder the Democrats held onto the Senate. A candidate has to be electable.
And the GOP wants to win in November.
The official Tea Party groups are a bunch of hacks who spend money on themselves and give almost no money to candidates. They also do a terrible job in recruiting and vetting candidates. I have fought the “establishment” GOP all my life, but in Kansas the Tea Party is running an idiot.
That is a very stupid statement.
The Tea Party does an AWFUL job in candidate recruitment, they really, really suck at it! The Tea Party also wastes money on frills and does not know how to fund campaigns.
When the TP runs idiots for office, they are the Democratic gift out of Central Casting.
That TP-favored guy in Kansas won’t beat a Democrat. And the establishment is fed up and tired of taking it on the chin.
The GOPe just don’t get it. They have been playing games with their “friends across the aisle” for decades but now the money is gone. Time to move over and let the adults drive.
“The GOPe deserves big losses in November”
While I am a GOPe hater too, what will loosing in November get us except two more years of Harry Reid and Co. The other poster is right about the quality of the candidates being part of the mix. In NC, Tillis might not have won if there were only one other candidate on the ballot. But having seven insured Tillis’ would be a shoo in. The Tea Party needs to figure out whom to run and work to get the rest to stay out. Name identity is very important. People won’t just go pull the handle for any Jed Clampett who came up with the registration fee.
If that happens, then to hell with the GOP.
What you really mean is that they recruited those that would go along with their platform and be like the Democrats - always vote Republican regardless of the issue.
Well, I for one will NOT go along with their philosophy! I want independent folks, farmers, workers, welders, etc. who can represent the public. If they insist on pushing their candidate on the public that are “bought” or otherwise dedicated to the party, I want nothing to do with them!
That will be the downfall of the Republicans which I see as a party that has lost its way. This election will be the final determination whether we continue to support them or go for a third party. It will happen although the Republican Party continues to fail at understanding their party. This is their last chance and I continue to think that they are lost and will fail again! Would love to be an apologist though...fat chance!
I am saying the GOPe is heading off a cliff on their own
You need intelligent, quality candidates who have been vetted and have political smarts.
Someone prone to stupid gaffes is a Democrat’s wet dream. A conservative who is going to lose is not going to advance our agenda.
That’s Politics 101 for the uninitiated.
Yes, if that happens, business outvoted the public! What does that tell you?
Too many inexperienced as well. In my community a fellow ran for local and won. You should see the guy operate at “formal” meetings. Embarrasses himself time and again while others “tolerate” him. Defiant, combative, jibber jabbers rather than states his position clearly.... even when there isn't anything to be so about in the discussions he carries on something fierce and simply "takes up space" where something otherwise could be accomplished. His attitude is "them against me" and it's apparent to all. Sadly he's accomplishing nothing at all.
Yes they are and we are also to blame for constantly electing the same folks to the office.
The media has had time to DESTROY the Tea Party, IRS holding up their ability to raise money and this is why WE are losing!! MOST Tea Party
people are little old senior citizens, however have been portrayed as gun
slinging right wing bigots who would destroy women’s rights!!! It is going
to be a tough road back they got the jump on us THANKS to the IRS
STOPPING the ability to raise funds to fight back!!!! They did VERY WELL
for Scott Walker when they only had to focus on the ONE recall election
and could put ALL funds available towards the recall!!!!! It WILL take the
Tea Party years to build the machine financially to fight this corrupt
beast that has been created!!!
Not sure if Akin was a Tea Party guy or not. Regardless, those were some very winnable races thrown away with bad candidates. I shed no tears for Castle and Lugar, but if you're going to oust them in a primary, it'd be nice to do so with a smart conservative (say, a Mike Pence type), rather than a former witch and someone who face-plants on political no-brainers such as rape.
As so many here say about McCain and Romney: winning the nomination doesn't mean a thing if you can't win the general.
Money buys infamy, does not buy votes! That is an American problem.
It turned out that it was better for the GOP to lose in a landslide with a Goldwater than it was to win in a landslide with a Nixon. If we elect a Nixon who institutes wage and price controls and other super state measures what have we really won? Especially when they are torn to bits by the even-more-to-the-Left types anyway.
I’m TEA Party all the way. The media will savage us but when we get a Cruz we have a gain and when we get a Lamar Alexander we have something less than a kiss-from-a-sister.
Thats Politics 101 for the uninitiated. You sound like you are so politically adept - so adept in fact that I'm beginning to think you were the clever one in charge of McCain's and Romney's presidential campaigns. Brilliant establishment candidates who did really well in their last runs for elective office.
Rove shouldn’t take so many bows. The real winner is Lois Lerner. She shut down the effectiveness of the tea party, not Rove.
Didn’t the establishment get wiped out in the Senate and presidential races in 2012?
Didn’t the establishment lose a presidential race that couldn’t be lost?
Just about all the good news for republicans since before 2006, is coming from the tea party/Palin/Cruz wing, not from the establishment.
.... I have no problem with the “Big Tent” philosophy when it comes to the membership of the GOP .... But when it comes to choosing the leadership of the party .... I feel that it needs to be the diametrically opposite of what the left is giving us if we hope to maintain the survival of America.
Yes, but if we field a seasoned candidate who understands politics and the game...the funding would be there I believe.
One can't just put themselves up there with fanciful words without some form of accomplishment and savy to attract the “money handlers” who throw their support in their corner.
Actually, if you go by winning, the Republican Party has done as bad or worse than the Tea Party... Their selections have not fared any better...sometimes worse.
I don't know how they plan to win without us. They think we will have to vote for them, no we don't. If this country is going down the drain then we're better off doing it quickly.
The Tea Party groups are led by crooks. I do not trust them. Not one bit. I hope that our conservative elected officials distance themselves a bit from the official groups, they are doing a bad job and will embarrass all of us.
Placing the fate of our liberties in the hands of the GOP is just as idiotic as it is the Democrats. Prepare for the worst.
Exactly! That is the reason that Tea Party and many more folks are going to go third party if this stupid Republican party does not get its act together and it does not look like it will.
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.