The latest state primary results confirm a notable pattern
of voting by Republican voters nationwide. In Iowa, a U.S.
senate candidate who had support across the range of
conservative opinion won a stunning primary victory
against three other candidates, two of whom had been
ahead of her at the outset of the campaign. In Mississippi,
an aging incumbent GOP senator trailed a more
conservative opponent, although a run-off in three weeks
will be necessary. In the case of Mississippi, either of these
candidates would be a heavy favorite in the general election
against a Democrat (barring the unforeseen).
Liberal media commentators apparently like to report the
GOP primary contests in terms of "establishment" vs. “Tea
Party” upstarts, perhaps with the motivation of provoking
the disastrous results of some insurgent GOP primary
winners in 2010 and 2012 who went on to defeat in races
the Republicans were expected to win.
Conservative voters do not seem to be cooperating with
liberal aspirations for the U.S. senate races so far this year,
and are routinely choosing strong and solid challengers in
the most competitive races for seats now held by Democrats,
including West Virginia, South Dakota. Montana, Louisiana,
Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina and Oregon.
In fact, in Iowa where Joni Ernst just won the primary with
a surprising more that 50% of the vote, it is her Democratic
opponent, Congressman Bob Braler, who has made the
biggest gaffe of the year (by attacking popular GOP Iowa
Senator Chuck Grassley). Ernst might soon be the favorite
in this open seat race formerly held by a Democrat.
To be sure, there are noticeable differences among GOP
factions this year, as there were in 2010 and 2012, but
grass roots Republican voters seem to be so upset with
Obamacare and the Washington, DC Democratic
administration, as well as the dictatorial leadership of
Senator Harry Reid in the U.S. senate, that they are
resisting temptations to defeat their own incumbents
in the hope of more political “purity.”
Not only that, more and more “establishment” Republican
candidates seem to have recognized the impact of the
libertarian wing of their party, especially on economic
issues, and are attempting to move their way as the
campaign season unfolds.
Should the GOP win back control of the U.S. senate, and
increase their current control of the U.S. house, however,
expectations will be high by the various “wings” of the
GOP for follow-through and success in the next session
of Congress as Republican majorities confront a
lame-duck Democratic president. Lacking the White House,
a political party can usually only hold back any new
initiatives from their opposition, so expectations might be
have to be delayed until January, 2017.
Speaking of Barack Obama, he seems to be the best ally
the Republican campaigns could have just now, as he
walks into controversy after scandal after political disaster.
His latest, an ill-considered trade-for-terrorists, seemed
self-delusive and it feeds on the growing public
disillusionment following the VA hospital scandals, the
failure to build the Keystone pipeline, Crimea and Syria,
Benghazi, and of course, Obamacare. The desertion
from the White House now not only includes many
vulnerable Democrats up for election this year, but also
a growing number of liberals looking ahead to 2016 and
But, once again, I caution that these trends, while long
developing and so far persistent, are not the final word
on 2014. That will be spoken five months from now by
the ultimate commentators, the voters. In the meantime,
the Democrats will try to regroup and recover. There is
much more in this story yet to be told.
Copyright (c) 2014 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.