Has the cavalry come too late for Clark Durant? The tea party has rallied to his cause with no shortage of steeds and sabers, but it may have jumped into the fray too late. Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra has boasted a wide lead throughout the Michigan's under-the-radar Republican primary campaign, and Durant's impressive two-week run of endorsements looks unlikely to close the gap.
One week after Ted Cruz's upset win in Texas's Senate GOP runoff, some of the backers that pushed him from obscurity to prominence have tried to do the same for Durant. Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., as well as publisher Steve Forbes, have announced their support within the last two weeks. The Tea Party Express jumped on board August 2, throwing its backing behind Durant. Today former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee became the latest latecomer to endorse Durant, just a day before the primary.
The Senate primaries thus far have shown the boost that national tea party support can provide a candidate, with candidates like Cruz and Indiana Senate nominee Richard Mourdock defeating establishment Republicans with the backing of right-wing stars and super PACs. Some of those supporters are now lining up behind Durant, but the Cornerstone Schools founder must be wondering what might have been had the support materialized sooner.
Prosperity for Michigan, a Super PAC run by former Michigan GOP chair Saul Anuzis, opened the floodgates in late July with ads aimed Hoekstra's 18-year congressional record. Since then, national figures have added their voices, but with Durant trailing by 20-plus points in most recent polls, it remains to be seen what good that will do.