For Senate Conservative Groups, Nebraska Or Bust

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 14: (L-R) U.S. Senate Minority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) walk from McConnell's office to the Senate Chamber on October 14, 2013 in Washington, DC. As Democratic and Republican leaders negotiate an end to the shutdown and a way to raise the debt limit, the White House postponed a planned Monday afternoon meeting with Boehner and other Congressional leaders. The government shutdown is currently in its 14th day. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
National Journal
Alex Roarty
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
May 2, 2014, 7:40 a.m.

The clock is tick­ing on groups like the Madis­on Pro­ject, Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund and ““ to a less­er ex­tent ““ the Club for Growth. Today’s Na­tion­al Journ­al magazine cov­er story tracks the GOP es­tab­lish­ment strik­ing back in this year’s primar­ies; the flip side of that story is the re­l­at­ive in­ef­fect­ive­ness of their re­bel­li­ous con­ser­vat­ive coun­ter­parts.

— It’s why the primary in Neb­raska looms as a ma­jor mo­ment in the 2014 cam­paign. There, after Freedom­Works’ un­usu­al shift, con­ser­vat­ive groups are aligned in uni­son be­hind Mid­land Uni­versity pres­id­ent Ben Sas­se against the more es­tab­lish­ment-friendly former state treas­urer, Shane Os­born. Sas­se looks like the fa­vor­ite right now, al­though it’s been a com­pet­it­ive race thus far. And if Sas­se wins, groups like SCF can likely count on a fun­drais­ing vic­tory lap that will spill over in­to oth­er Sen­ate primar­ies.

— Oth­er op­por­tun­it­ies have petered out. SCF went all in on Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell‘s chal­lenger Matt Bev­in (R) in a Ken­tucky race that’s clos­ing with a whim­per in­stead of a bang. (The same goes for Milton Wolf‘s (R) primary in Kan­sas against Sen. Pat Roberts.) Es­tab­lish­ment can­did­ates are on the march in North Car­o­lina and Geor­gia. Even a can­did­ate like one­time su­per lob­by­ist Ed Gillespie (R) in Vir­gin­ia would seem primed for a chal­lenge from the right; in­stead, he’s waltz­ing to the GOP nom­in­a­tion.

— Con­ser­vat­ive groups have also lined up be­hind state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) in Mis­sis­sippi, but his cam­paign has been dogged by rev­el­a­tions of a lit­any of of­fens­ive re­marks he made as a talk show ra­dio host. If he de­feats Sen. Thad Co­chran (R), the story might be less about con­ser­vat­ive tri­umph than con­ser­vat­ive out­side groups giv­ing Demo­crats, back­ing former Blue Dog Rep. Trav­is Childers (D), an out­side chance at win­ning the state.

CFG still has a num­ber of House primar­ies where they can claim primary vic­tor­ies. But in the Sen­ate land­scape, it’s Neb­raska or bust.
— Alex Roarty

What We're Following See More »
Cruz to Back Trump
1 days ago
Two Polls for Clinton, One for Trump
1 days ago

With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:

  • An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clin­ton lead­ing Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary John­son at 7%.
  • A Mc­Clatchy-Mar­ist poll gave Clin­ton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way bal­lot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
  • Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
1 days ago

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Trump Makes No Outreach to Spanish Speakers
1 days ago

Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."

Clintons Buy the House Next Door in Chappaqua
1 days ago

Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."