In Johnson's home state, both former Rep. Mark Neumann
and former Gov. Tommy Thompson
are for Johnson, News Talk 1360 reported
. A spokesman for state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald
said he also supports Johnson.
In Florida, Adam Hasner
, pitching himself as the Marco Rubio
-esque conservative in the race, has come out in support of Johnson
. Hasner's portraying himself as something of an outsider, even though the reality is he is anything but one, having served as state House majority leader. He expressed his support on Friday, before Durant and Stenberg weighed in, and also before FreddomWorks endorsed Johnson's candidacy.
Johnson's stock in the tea party is still very high, and his 2010 outsider/businessman campaign is still remembered fondly among operatives and conservative candidates running in 2012 who'd like to repeat his success next year.
But don't count on the Conference Vice Chair race to move the needle too much in GOP primaries. It's a D.C. insider campaign of the highest order, and primary voters aren't likely to be swayed too heavily by its outcome.
Still, it says something about the state of GOP Senate primaries that support for Blunt is nowhere to be found among challengers. The dominant positions have been either support for Johnson or neutrality/silence.
It's less about political ideology than it is about the desire to drum up grassroots support. Blunt had a very conservative voting record in the House. But Johnson's profile -- outsider, businessman, not-of-the-establishment -- meant a lot of grassroots support in 2010. Many Republicans hope to channel the same kind of energy in 2012.