North Carolina, Ohio, and Indiana. The Tarheel State is solidly red, with Richard Burr ahead and clear sailing, but Indiana and Ohio will be important bellwethers for the upcoming primary season.
We have previewed the Indiana Senate race, where RINO Dan Coats is currently in the lead. John Hostettler is the candidate to watch there. We have also discussed the Ohio open Senate race. Thomas Ganley had been giving "green Republican" Rob Portman a run for his money and then mysteriously dropped out to pursue the 13th district seat. Now Portman will face open seas and can put his $6 million war chest against either Democrat Jennifer Brunner or Lee Fisher (Fisher is currently way ahead).
And once again, it seems like any time there is a serious challenge to a RINO, like Rob Portman in Ohio, the conservative candidate drops out; or the trailing RINO declares he is "Independent," like Crist in Florida; or even in the notorious House-23 race in NY, imperiled lib in Republican's clothing Scozzafava drops out to throw her support to the Democrat opposing the conservative Republican Doug Hoffmann!
Strange days, indeed.
We can conclude that establishment Republicans are not about to let a bunch of Johnny-Come-Lately tea party 'fanatics' jump on board and derail their gravy trains while babbling some nonsense about the "Constitution." They are going to scheme and obstruct and lie and do anything they can to prevent the restoration of limited government. That is why a coherent strategy to defeat BOTH RINOs and progressive Democrats is so vital.
In the House races, it will be interesting to see how the RINOs fare. In Indiana, we have confirmed RINO Mark Souder (3), while in Ohio, there is the virtual Serengeti plain of Steven LaTourette (14), Michael Turner (3), Patrick Tiberi (12), Steve Austria (7), Jean Schmidt (2), and in North Carolina we have anti-war activist and perpetual nuisance Walter Jones (3). More information can be found on the RINO Safari link on the website.
I am currently projecting that the more conservative the district (which because of the data and the nature of American politics we have to make due to associate with "strong Republican"), according to the objective Partisan Voter Index (PVI) site, the better the chance that a RINO will be thrown out. Let's see if that speculation bears out tomorrow.
Reasoning as such, we can use the PVIs (+ is Republican, - is Democrat) to speculate the likely odds of being unseated in the primaries: Walter Jones (+16), Mark Souder (+14), Jean Schmidt (+13), Steve Austria (+7), Michael Turner (+5), Steve La Tourette (+3), and Patrick Tiberi (-1). It will be interesting to find out the correlation and margin of error of this hypothesis tomorrow, and how it holds water over the election season. If it tends to be true, it can help tea party activists strategize where and how to unseat RINOs across the country. If it is false, we need to find out why.
Currently, this is what we know about these races. There is a dearth of polling on the House races, but we can use a proxy measure, and that is campaign funding. Although imperfect, it is generally understood that money talks, and well, fringe candidates walk. We can use OpenSecrets to track the following RINO races in terms of campaign funding (although often times the data are dated): Walter Jones, Mark Souder, Steven LaTourette, Michael Turner, Patrick Tiberi, Steve Austria, and Jean Schmidt. Of these candidates, only three have serious cash-opposition: Mark Souder, Steve Austria, and Jean Schmidt, in descending order of seriousness.
THIS IS A WARNING TO TEA PARTY ACTIVISTS. Unless you focus on a cohesive strategy to out verifiable RINOs, we will all will wind up with incessant headaches for the next four to six years. We will be stabbed in the back more often than Julius Caesar at the end of the Roman Republic. We simply cannot rest on the laurels of a sizable advantage on the generic congressional ballot (from +1 to +7, depending on whom you trust; we'll throw the Democrat leaning polls out as obviously false in even average mnidterm elections).
The solution? Support RINOs' conservative opposition! I have carefully and methodically compiled a list of some RINOs. Fund their opposition. Cold call. Spread names on the Internet and by word of mouth. Don't let the red tide turn into a pink one!
If you agree with me, spread the name of these entries and the name of this site: teapartyelections.blogspot.com!
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