Political Insiders Poll

Which Republican Senator Is Most Vulnerable to a Primary Challenge?

Michael Catalini, Alex Roarty and Peter Bell
See more stories about...
Michael Catalini Alex Roarty Peter Bell
Sept. 12, 2013, 4 p.m.

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.

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.

What We're Following See More »
FORMERLY THE DEPT’S TOP ATTORNEY
Transportation Sec. Names Special Adviser for Metro System
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has appointed a veteran legal insider with strong personal ties to the Obama administration to serve as his special adviser focused exclusively on fixing the Washington region’s troubled Metro system. Kathryn Thomson, who was expected to leave her job as the Department of Transportation’s top lawyer, instead will stay on as Foxx’s special adviser on Metro oversight." She'll start this week.

Source:
DEATH PENALTY CASE
SCOTUS Finds Racial Bias in Jury Selection
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that prosecutors in Georgia violated the Constitution by striking every black prospective juror in a death penalty case against a black defendant. The vote was 7 to 1, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting. The case, Foster v. Chatman, No. 14-8349, arose from the 1987 trial of Timothy T. Foster, an African-American facing the death penalty for killing Queen Madge White, an elderly white woman, when he was 18."

Source:
RETRACTED FUNDING
Congressional Report Says NFL Tried To Influence Concussion Study
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

report from House Democrats charges that NFL officials retracted funding for a $16 million NIH study on head injuries after repeated unsuccessful attempts to direct the money away from a Boston University researcher and instead to scientists who might be more favorable to the league. Democrats have been trying to go after the NFL over its handling of concussion science, although the sport's popularity and increased lobbying presence has made that difficult. The new revelations about meddling in the NIH study should offer more ammo. 

Source:
LETS LOWER COURT RULING STAND
SCOTUS Denies Appeal from Virginia GOP
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A unanimous Supreme Court has dismissed a Republican appeal over congressional districts in Virginia. The justices on Monday left in place a decision by a lower court that said Virginia illegally packed black voters into one district to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents." The Court said the Republican elected officials who challenged the decision did not have standing to do so.

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Much Has Trump Loaned His Campaign?
16 hours ago
THE ANSWER

"More than $43 million, although the loans are loans in name only — Trump says he has no intention of recouping the cash."

Source:
×