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Which Republican Senator Is Most Vulnerable to a Primary Challenge? Which Republican Senator Is Most Vulnerable to a Primary Challenge?

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Magazine / Political Insiders Poll

Which Republican Senator Is Most Vulnerable to a Primary Challenge?

September 12, 2013

Which Republican senator is the most vulnerable to a primary challenge?

DEMOCRATS (91 VOTES)

Lindsey Graham: 39%
Mitch McConnell: 37%
Lamar Alexander: 12%
Michael Enzi: 9%
John Cornyn: 3%

Lindsey Graham

 

"Because of his historical leadership on issues like immigration and a persona that is more pragmatic than the tea party."

"He's taken every side of every issue. He's the Senate's version of a weather vane in a tornado."

"There are four people in the primary, and he has to get 50 percent or there will be a runoff. Runoffs are dangerous territory for an incumbent."

Mitch McConnell

"Rand Paul beat a McConnell candidate in 2010, and I think a tea-party candidate could beat the establishment D.C. candidate in Kentucky."

"McConnell's leadership position in a Congress that people hate makes him vulnerable. He will probably have to cut some kind of deal with the president on the debt-limit increase, which will make him a pariah to the tea-party activists who will dominate the GOP primary in Kentucky. And he has a wealthy primary challenger."

Lamar Alexander

"Isn't it standing policy to run all moderates out of the GOP? While not all that moderate, isn't Lamar next in line?"

Michael Enzi

"For no other reason than his opponent is raising a lot of money."

John Cornyn

"It is a close call as to whether Texas or South Carolina has more lunatics in a Republican primary, but Texas wins by a hair."

 

Which Republican senator is the most vulnerable to a primary challenge?

REPUBLICANS (101 VOTES)

Lindsey Graham: 54%
Mitch McConnell: 17%
Lamar Alexander: 5%
Michael Enzi: 21%
John Cornyn: 4%

Lindsey Graham

"South Carolina is the reddest of the red states, and Graham is getting hit hard, but the good news for him is that all of his opponents are clowns."

"Lindsey is a classic moderate Republican, and that's a tough philosophy if you come from South Carolina."

"His bromance with John McCain doesn't play well in South Carolina."

"His support for Syria is just one of many reasons why Graham often finds himself out of touch with his constituencies."

"Lindsey confuses Meet the Press with the base."

Mitch McConnell

"The Kentucky GOP is nuts."

"A lot of Rand Paul primary voters won't hold their noses."

"The tea party seethes at the thought of McConnell being in power. A legitimate chance to throw him out of office would be nirvana."

Lamar Alexander

"My sense is that he could just tire of the nonsense and decide to not be bothered by it. That would be a political death sentence."

Michael Enzi

"High-profile challenger with capability to raise money. It's easier to change outcomes in a small election."

John Cornyn

"Lots of people like Cornyn but few love him, and being in leadership doesn't help you win a primary."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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