In recent elections, primary challengers against GOP incumbents have come almost exclusively from the right. But in the House, we’re seeing signs of an establishment backlash, challenging tea party and iconoclastic members from the middle.
— The center of the opposition is in the suburbs of Michigan, where the business community has been dissatisfied with Rep. Justin Amash, a Ron Paul acolyte, and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, a part-time reindeer rancher who bumbled into a House seat. Bentivolio already faces a primary challenge from attorney David Trott. Businessman Brian Ellis is expected to run against Amash. And former Bush aide Taylor Griffin just announced a campaign against anti-war North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones.
— There are signs these challengers will be credible. Trott reported raising more money in the third quarter than Bentivolio did in the first half of the year. Amash represents an urban Grand Rapids district where the business community holds more sway than the tea party. Jones has beaten back primary challenges before, but Griffin should run a better-organized campaign than his predecessors.
— While the GOP’s internal divisions over Obamacare tactics could spark more tea party primary challenges, they haven’t emerged yet. The Club for Growth has only endorsed one challenger, Bryan Smith, running against Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson. (Other incumbents to watch: Reps. Bill Shuster, Frank Lucas and Renee Ellmers.) That’s a testament to conservative success in shaping the GOP caucus, but there aren’t many battles left to be won.
There’s long been a divide between the GOP’s business wing and populist factions, with the former usually winning out. But with the business wing losing sway, they’re showing signs of emulating the tactics of the feisty opposition.
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"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."
After a lighthearted beginning, Donald Trump's appearance at the Al Smith charity dinner in New York "took a tough turn as the crowd repeatedly booed the GOP nominee for his sharp-edged jokes about his rival Hillary Clinton."
Evan McMullin came out on top in a Emerson College poll of Utah with 31% of the vote. Donald Trump came in second with 27%, while Hillary Clinton took third with 24%. Gary Johnson received 5% of the vote in the survey.
A new Quinnipiac University poll finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by seven percentage points, 47%-40%. Trump’s “lead among men and white voters all but” vanished from the university’s early October poll. A new PPRI/Brookings survey shows a much bigger lead, with Clinton up 51%-36%. And an IBD/TIPP poll leans the other way, showing a virtual dead heat, with Trump taking 41% of the vote to Clinton’s 40% in a four-way matchup.