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Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Featured, Politics | 21 comments

Cochran wins in Mississippi: So how’s the “Tea Party industrial complex” doing today?

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Bit of a problem there, wouldn’t you say? Looks as a bad as Rove’s American Crossroads did in the 2012 election.

Koch & Co — aren’t they a major part of the tea party industrial complex? — wound up with –uh oh! — Thad Cochran.

“In Mississippi,” Molly Ball points out, “challenger Chris McDaniel failed to dethrone six-term incumbent Senator Thad Cochran in the second round of their hard-fought contest.” There’s more…

In Oklahoma, Representative James Lankford won by a massive margin over conservative favorite T.W. Shannon. The Tea Party industrial complex—groups like the Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks, figures like Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz—invested heavily in both races and came up short. Now both of these red states will almost assuredly send Republican senators to Washington who owe the national Tea Party nothing, and quite likely wish it ill.

Wasn’t the Tea Party supposed to have come roaring back after then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his Virginia primary a couple of weeks ago? Conservatives hoped Cantor’s toppling was a sign that there was more pent-up anti-incumbent sentiment than previously thought. But at this point, Cantor seems more an aberration than a portent. Part of the reason no one saw his defeat coming was that it cut so starkly against this trend. …MollyBall,Atlantic

What’s more, yesterday’s primaries also contain warnings and considerable embarrassment for the tea party along with Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz.

Oklahoma was the undercard Tuesday thanks to the focus on Mississippi, but it may be the more telling contest. Conservatives including Palin and Cruz sought to elevate the part-black, part-Native American Shannon, a former state-house speaker, for the open seat vacated by retiring Senator Tom Coburn. In his two terms in Washington, Lankford has established himself as a levelheaded conservative, securing the fifth spot in House leadership as chair of the Republican Policy Committee. Before going to Congress, he ran the state’s largest Baptist summer camp, giving him a built-in base with a large swath of social conservatives. He was helped in the primary by supportive statements from the popular Coburn, who didn’t make an endorsement but vouched for Lankford’s character against the calumnies hurled at him by Shannon and his supporters.

The race was expected to be close, but it was not. Lankford ran away with it, taking 57 percent of the vote, crushing Shannon by more than 20 points and avoiding a runoff. The very conservative voters of Oklahoma, a very conservative state, wanted the candidate with conservative positions but a responsible profile—someone who doesn’t want to burn Washington down and might see fit to vote some other way than “no” once in a while. What Republicans want isn’t more Thad Cochrans. It’s more James Lankfords. …Molly Ball,Atlantic

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

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