Skip to comments.Republican Primary Voters Seem Determined to Nominate Candidates Who can Win
Posted on 05/09/2014 5:19:53 AM PDT by Kaslin
Results of Tuesday's primaries, particularly the victory of state House Speaker Thom Tillis in North Carolina's Republican Senate primary, are being hailed -- or decried -- as a victory for the Republican establishment over the Tea Party movement.
There's something to that. Tillis benefited from support from Karl Rove's American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and endorsements by Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.
In contrast, Sen. Rand Paul flew in on the day before the election to campaign for second-place finisher and fellow physician Greg Bannon, who was also endorsed by Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks. Mike Huckabee campaigned for the third-place candidate, minister Mark Harris.
Some conservative bloggers are making much of the fact that Tillis received less than a majority of the vote. But his 46 percent topped the 40 percent threshold to avoid a runoff in July. And his margin over Bannon, who won 27 percent of the vote, would be counted a solid victory in a state without runoffs.
Political reporters have described this race and other Republican primary contests as battles between national political players. But I think the more important thing is what the result tells us about the state of mind of Republican primary voters.
This year Republican voters seem more inclined than in 2010 and 2012 to vote for those who appear likely to be strong general election candidates and less inclined to vote for candidates who stand up on chairs and yell, "Hell no!"
Brannon made statements comparing food stamps to slavery and founded an organization with conspiracy theories on its website. Plenty of fodder for Democratic ads if he had won the nomination.
That doesn't mean that Republican voters have given up on conservatism and are content to vote for RINOs (Republicans in Name Only). Tillis could point to a solid conservative voting record in the legislature.
As Speaker of the North Carolina House, he led successful efforts to cut taxes and authorize charter schools.
The legislature controversially cut extended unemployment benefits -- a measure followed by the steepest decline in unemployment in any state.
Tillis concentrated his fire on incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and her deciding vote for Obamacare. He argued that the barrage of anti-Tillis ads and mailings by Hagan's campaign and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid showed that Democrats regarded him as the Republican most likely to win in November.
This is not to say that Republican voters are entirely pleased with incumbents. Two North Carolina incumbents beat challengers by relatively narrow margins.
In the second congressional district, Renee Elmers, attacked for supporting immigration measures, including legalization, won, 59 to 41 percent.
In the third congressional district, Walter Jones, attacked for dovish views on foreign policy, won, 51 to 45 percent.
And in Ohio's 14th congressional district, freshman David Joyce won, 55 to 45 percent. But House Speaker John Boehner got a solid 69 percent against multiple opponents in the Ohio eighth.
Republican primary voters seem to have passed through and out of a cycle that is apparent in both parties' core constituencies: In the last years of the second term of a party's president, the party's wingers grow restive.
They are disappointed that their side's president has not accomplished all they hoped and has compromised on what they believe are core principles.
Thus, after eight years of George W. Bush's presidency, Republican primary voters were pleased to reject likely general election winners in favor of seemingly more principled (and provocative) opponents.
This attitude may have cost Republicans Senate seats -- certainly in Delaware in 2010, arguably in Nevada and Colorado that year, and Indiana and Missouri in 2012.
Tea Party admirers point out, accurately, candidates who started off as insurgents -- Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz -- won solid victories and have injected needed new ideas and energy into the party.
Overall, Republican officeholders have internalized and acted on the Tea Party agenda. That's why the primary challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell seems likely to fail later this month.
Something similar is happening to Democrats in President Obama's sixth year in office: The left-wingers are getting restive.
Evidence includes the election of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, the talk of an Elizabeth Warren presidential candidacy, billionaire Tom Steyer's $100 million crusade against the Keystone XL pipeline.
But left-wing Democrats aren't challenging many incumbents and establishment favorites -- yet. That could come if and when currently energized Republicans win the presidency.
The democrats and republicans just need to merge their parties and be done with it.
You cannot vehemently fight against your erstwhile base (on whom you have depended on to get out the Republican vote these many years in general elections for candidates that effectively cannot even wipe their own arses) and realistically expect them to just suck it up and hold their noses - again!
You GOPe types are risking everything, and you aren't going to get any new Hispanic voters because you want to capitulate on Amnesty for illegals. Not gonna happen. Instead you'll be complaining about the 5 million that sat it out, again. And then you'll start the whole cycle again for 2016. How many times do you have to get hit upside the head with a 2 by 4?
Lots of meaning packed into that word “win”. If a RINO wins we lose.
In Michigan the GOP isn’t challenging a single democrat held seat but they are challenging tea party held seats.
There is a republican challenging for the Dingell seat but he’s doing it without even token GOP support.
Barone, you cut-up. How about some evidence?
The NeoWhig Party’s last grasp at power....
I respect DemonRats in one way because they are proud progressives and are not trying to hide it. The GOPe types are progressive light trying to fool Conservatives. Better my enemy in front of me than behind me.
I like Barone. Classy fella.
Barone = Establishment.
Hate to say it but Barone is probably accurate
Tillis strikes me as an imperfect but acceptable candidate. The other challengers may have been better on the issues, but they both had serious baggage that would have prevented them from actually focusing on the issues during the general election.
Lee, Paul and Cruz are good examples of how Conservatives can win nomination fights in states that already lean (solidly) Conservative. Rubio had the advantage of being Hispanic in Florida working for him. We should have been smarter in DE, IN and possibly MO (Akin seemed fine until he stuck his foot in his mouth, then refused to quit the race)
The problem as I see it is that Liberals take the long view of politics and are willing to be patient as their agenda is advanced over years of not decades. They trade away 100% wins for 50% or 25% wins knowing and planning that they’ll come back for the rest later. Obamacare, for instance, wasn’t something sudden and out of the blue: it’s development stretched back to Truman and the Libs steadily pushed for it until they had the bare minimum to make it happen. Then took their shot. Same thing with gay marriage.
Conservatives strike me a lot as being ADHD in their politics. Expecting quick and immediate results and demanding hail mary passes to advance our agenda, ignoring the fact that long, boring and frustrating slogs are what really gets the work done.
This sort of mindset works to our disadvantage, and plays right into the Libs hands.
Those FReepers that keep licking that GOPe boot can't seem to keep they little opinions to themselves, they reveal their true pissant nature.
Look at the trash they’re running against Kerry Bentivolio in Michigan.
Zero mention of immigration or border control. Pro second amendment (with qualifiers). No absolute opposition to abortion.
His supporters can only say “Look at his fundraising”. Of course he can raise funds, the anti tea party chamber of cronyism is backing him.
“Tillis benefited from support from Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and endorsements by Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. “
This is BS. Tillis won because he was the better candidate.
Rove, Romney and Bush meant nothing.
Moral of the story: THE BETTER CANDIDATE WINS ELECTIONS.
If they want to run RINOs they should run them in those democrat district where they might do some actual good.
Licker number reporting in.
You crazy conservatives don’t get it.
You can’t pick some ignorant no name yahoo with no record of achievement and think this guy will be a good politician simply because he mouths the words “reform DC, pro life, pro gun, hate Obamacare”
Run a good candidate, one who has earned name recognition via a long record of past accomplishments is any field, run an intelligent candidate, and he has a good chance of winning regardless of ideology.
“In Michigan the GOP isnt challenging a single democrat held seat but they are challenging tea party held seats. “
The teaparty regularly challenges GOPe and rarely goes after democrat incumbents.
You wanna check Karl Rove for polyps while you’re up there?
Barrone is pretty good and I agree with him more than not.
His implication that Rand Paul is a TEA Party favorite is incorrect. Rand shot himself in the foot with his stance on amnesty and views that reflect his dad’s (Ron). Likewise, Rubio did the same regarding amnesty (and is ineligible to be Prez; having been born to parents of foreign citizenship).
Exactly, it doesn’t matter which party the big government leftist is running for .
“If they want to run RINOs they should run them in those democrat district where they might do some actual good.”
What is the matter, Teaparty candidates and/or Conservative candidates too chicken to run against a democrat incumbent ?
To which someone always asks “You really don’t see any difference between democrats and republicans?”
To which I say, no they are each bad in their own unique ways.
Like I said, a republican is challenging for the Dingell seat without party backing.
Low do you need a flashlight zotbait?
GOPe WANTS their second-tier power all to themselves.
They aren’t equipped to use principles, morals or conservatism to win anything but their own perverted little constituencies that seem content to be lied to twice a year about their representatives show votes and treachery.
They don’t want to be in charge; they don’t want to rock the boat and upset their comfy, dissembling, appeasing traitorous lives. They’ll fight tooth and nail for it, to the bitter end, but it won’t be against Democrats, it’s the conservatives (Tea Party, for want of a better name) who is their enemy.
Dumping money in a race so that they can control that person if elected is why they are doing this crap. Rove and his ilk are nothing but losers.
Like Delaware in 2010, right?
GOP voters got their ideologically sound nominee. Unfortunately, in their rush to nominate a true Conservative and destroy a RINO they neglected to properly vet their choice. Who turned out to be both susceptable to personal attacks (charges of involvement in witchcraft) and and too inexperienced to counter those personal attacks effectively, that prevented any sort of discussion or debate on actual issues.
If pointing that simple political reality out makes me a “boot licker” so be it. Guys like central_va (some of whom I suspect are really just Soros-paid trolls who come out here to stir up dissention) can sit around griping at the unfairness and immorality/unconstitutionalty of the latest Liberal policy implementation while the country burns down around them. All the while accusing anyone who does differentlt of being a RINO/GOPe bootlicker.I prefer to be out at least trying to fight the fire.
People who can win? Like Dole, McCain and Romney?
Or Virginia where an actual conservative wins the nomination and gets the back of the hand from the GOPe establishment which results in the Democrats winning a race that the Republicans could have won if they had put as much into it as last time around.
VA was winnable by Cuccinelli. I’m not arguing for GOPe candidates, I’m arguing for some pragmatism in understanding that a GOPe candidate who can win in a Blue state/district is still better than a Dem candidate who WILL win if the only Tea Party criteria is ideological purity.
I don’t know anything about Delaware or who runs there but I can tell you that Terri Land is running in Michigan without tea party opposition because she’s acceptable to both tea party and establishment.
GOPe candidates “who can win” shouldn’t get any conservative votes at all
If it makes you feel better to ride a RINO over the progressive cliff so be it.
About Senator Paul, show me he voted for amnesty for the illegals. You can't because he didn't. Maybe you believe supporting legal immigration is the same as supporting amnesty. It is not. I am a naturalized citizen (1977) who came here legally in 1966 and believe that anyone who wants to come here should do so legally and not sneak in.
The way the GOPe left Cuccinelli hanging out to dry was a travesty. All of you GOPe bootlickers can delude yourself, but yo are being used - yet again. Where else you gonna go right?
Ted Cruz. Mike Lee. It can be done when we choose serious candidates. Far too many of the Tea Party insurgent candidates have been people who quite simply lack the resume or the gravitas to be taken seriously as candidates.
We got a winnah! Post of the day.
Wow with that elitist attitude you might be able to reinstate the monarchy in the USA.
Boy the anti "normal" people venom is really out today. Howerver, I am not surprised the GOPe bootlickers
Yes, because relegating the GOP to minority party status, preventing guys like Ted Cruz from ever having any tangible power (chairing a committee or subcommittee with subponae power) because you hate GOPe/RINOs more than you hate Liberals/Democrats makes so much logical sense...
This behavior goes right back to the beginnings of the tea party. A comment I made in a thread about the forced unionization scam in Michigan. Moderate republicans were the primary driving force behind it and then the number 1 guy ran for the 1st district seat and the moderates wanted Dan Benishek to get out of the way for the guy who can win.
Just check keyword “Benishek” and you’ll find those threads with those moderate pimps and me.
Um, there already is pretty much a monarchy (ok, more like oligarchy) in the US. Barack Obama is the current King.
Foot shooting candidates like Akin, Mourdock, etc may help assuage your anger/contempt/frustration/feelings of inadequacy, but they hurt, not help, the cause of getting rid of it.
But then again, you really don’t want to get rid of the Liberal oligarchy, do you? It would rob you of the ability to sit around wallowing in your anger/contempt/frustration/feelings of inadequacy, wouldn’t it?
The issues we care about affect all US citizens. We might be better off articulating them across the political spectrum rather than be backstabbed by someone we supported. A lot of these conservatives who lost don't have a voting record on the issues.
I agree completely.
But there also needs to be an acknowlegement that Conservatives have been stung by the incompetence of candidates like Akin an Mourdock too.
Launching in on anyone who raises that point, or that GOPe candidates running in Blue states/districts where Tea Party candidates can’t win are worse than Dem\Liberal candidates isn’t ... helpful. I consider myself to be a Reagan Conservative first, Republican second. I believe that my long term posting history here supports tgst. As do, I think, a lot of other Freepers who raise the same issues as me. Insulting us by ramping up the personal attacks and insults for our somewhat more pragmatic view when it comes to electoral politics serves no real purpose other than to perpetuate unnecessary divisiveness.
Better, not worse, in second para above.
Where I probably disagree with you is that I wouldn’t vote for those who have a voting history of backstabbing constitutional conservatives. My exception would be someone like Rubio, who pretty much got played by Schummer and McCain, but has stayed true to conservative principles...if only he can get education about the invasion of the US.
Actually reversing the Fascist/Commie trends of America would be.
I’d still vote for a backstabber over a Dem, just to get the numbers of seats held up and ensure a majority. Not for the sake of the backstabber, but because a rising tide raises all boats (Reagan liked that quote, btw) and would elevate good guys like Cruz into positions of tangible power.
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