Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Six states will host Republican primaries tonight. Does the tea party still have any clout?

States holding Republican primaries tonight are Pennsylvania, Idaho, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon and Georgia. The primaries in Pennsylvania and Arkansas are gubernatorial primaries with no serious contest and are of little interest. Here is the status of the other races:

In Kentucky, tea party favored candidate Matt Bevin is challenging incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell. Libertarian Republican and tea party favorite Rand Paul has endorsed McConnell.  The Senate Conservatives fund, a tea party PAC has spend more than $1 million on behalf of Beven. Expect McConnell to win.

In Idaho,  Eight-term incumbent Rep. Mike Simpson with an ACU score of 46, is being challenged from the right by Bryan Smith. Mitt Romney has endorsed Simpson. CNN calls Smiths campaign a "serious primary challenge."

In Oregon, of all things, there is a rare pro-choice Republican candidate, Dr. Monica Wehby, seeking the nomination and appears to be leading over her tea party favored opponent Jason Conger. Wehby has been endorsed by Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Sen. Rick Santorum has endorsed Conger. The winner will face Democrat incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley. Dr. Wehby is favored to win the nomination.

In Georgia there is a seven-man race to win the nomination to  succeed Sen. Saxby Chambliss who is retiring. Since one candidate is unlikely to win a majority of the votes cast, there is likely to be run off. Karen Handel is the tea party favored candidate having been endorsed by Sarah Palin and Red State's Erick Erickson, however the tea party support was split and two other candidates got some tea party support. Handel is one of the top three candidates. The person ahead in the polls is David Pardue. Handel has been attacked by one of her opponents for "promoting teenage homosexuality," for a vote she took in favor of funding for an LGBT youth program when she served on the Fulton County Commission. Wow, if any member of the Metro Council ever runs for office, any one of them could be charged with the same thing as they all voted at some point for a budget that funded the Human Relations Commission.  A victory for the tea party would be Handel making the run-off.

For source material for the above see this link and this link.

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