That contributed to Bachus's lowest primary finish since his first run, in 1992, when he took 37 percent of the vote before winning 59 percent in the runoff. Since then, Bachus has run unopposed for the GOP nomination six of nine times and never got lower than 76 percent, his 2010 result, in the other three.
Bachus's survival will calm skittish nerves in the House, which braced for a long season of primary upheaval last week. In the nation's first congressional primary on March 6, Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, fell to a GOP challenger in the 2nd District after several cycles of poor results. However, Schmidt's decision to spend election day in Washington exemplified her lethargic efforts to protect her seat. By contrast, Bachus had spent over $1.5 million on his primary by the Feb. 22 pre-election reporting deadline.
Bachus can also count his win as a victory over the Campaign for Primary Accountability, the non-partisan, anti-incumbent super PAC that contributed to Schmidt's defeat last week. CPA spent over $200,000 attacking Bachus with TV ads, robocalls, and mail over the first two weeks of March.