As many look ahead to the November mid-terms, recent primaries are showing an ideological shift in the Republican party
Another Tuesday is bringing forth yet another string of electoral primaries in Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon and Pennsylvania here in our cherished American republic.
And while many astute political observers are looking forward to this November’s mid-terms, and quite simply, whether or not the Democrats can retake the legislative branch in an effort to stymie Donald Trump and the Republicans, such extended foresight by these very analysts is keeping them out of an ever-changing, and absurdly-interesting present moment.
The Republican establishment is fighting back — and winning — and very subtly reclaiming the party from the Tea Party/alt-right wing of the GOP.
It may not be in the manner they’d hope for — a slew of losses in special elections in congressional districts (PA-18), and states (Alabama) that are supposed to be firmly in the R column. Nonetheless, these very losses may shape up to be gains in the long-run for traditional Republicans and neoconservatives.
It could be the classic case of losing battles, but winning the war.
We may have seen the first example play out this past Tuesday. The GOP pulled out all the stops, including a slew of tweets from the President himself, to ensure that Don Blankenship would not win the West Virginia Republican primary for a shot at the U.S. Senate.
Emerson College pollster Spencer Kimball echoed as much recently in an exclusive interview with CLNS Media in his post-analysis of Blankenship’s defeat last Tuesday.
— Emerson Polling (@EmersonPolling) May 14, 2018
“What’s interesting [in WV] with Blankenship is with what the Republicans saw in Alabama with Roy Moore, they said ‘You know, we just can’t nominate anybody and win,” Kimball said to CLNS Media. “And it looks like Blankenship may have gotten the results of those previous losses.”
Like Moore, Blankenship strays from the neoconservative principles and ideals that dominated the Republican party from the election of Richard Nixon in 1968 all the way until Donald Trump’s shocking upset in the fall of 2016. Blankenship and Moore both hold political views that certainly fall well outside what older Republicans consider mainstream (and whether this is good or bad for the GOP is not for this column.)
Also like Moore, Blankenship had a fairly checkered past, even serving a prison sentence. As Prof. Kimball stated, and presumably rather obviously, “The Republicans just can’t nominate anybody and win” no matter the electoral district.
However this time, establishment Republicans (and Trump) were going to do everything in their power to prevent not just another defeat, but another Tea Party/alt-right candidate from appearing on the general ballot in November.
But unlike in recent elections past, they now possess the hard evidence, and now the potential support to do it.
Now the question remains: Will that spell a potential end to the alt-right movement in the Republican party?