Is the Republicans Civil War turning for the establishment people?
Over the past few years, conservative outsiders, many of whom were members of the tea party, ran over the establishment in a number of key Republican primaries for the U.S. Senate. In 2010, tea-party-aligned candidates won in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Nevada, Wisconsin and Utah. In doing so, they almost certainly cost Republicans the Senate seat in Delaware, and probably in Colorado and Nevada. Two years later, the process was repeated in Indiana and Missouri.
In choosing less presentable candidates for the general electorate, the GOP may have forfeited Senate control. If this pattern continues in 2014 and 2016, it would represent something new: Functional parties tend to choose candidates who are seen as more moderate the longer they are out of power, and Republicans have been out of the Senate since 2007 and the White House since 2009.
But, just as we would expect, the pattern doesn’t seem to be happening. Establishment Republicans look to be in good shape in many states where a more conservative candidate could cost the party a seat. (Deciding who is the establishment candidate and who is an outsider is an inexact science. But I looked to see who was being backed by establishment groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and who was backed by more right-leaning or tea party groups.)
Alaska – Joe Miller (outsider) trails Daniel Sullivan (establishment), the former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, in early primary polling (polls have not been conducted in the past few months). If Miller loses the primary, he could run as a third-party candidate in the general election…..
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