They call themselves the Tea Party, but for the loosely associated small-government groups that have upended Republican politics during the last five years, there was no cause for celebration when the results of Tuesday's primaries came in.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- who began this election cycle as a slow-moving target for grassroots conservatives -- highlighted the GOP establishment’s biggest round of victories yet during a primary season in which the Tea Party has repeatedly fallen short.
McConnell’s win was expected, but his 60 percent-35 percent thrashing of challenger Matt Bevin in Kentucky was emblematic of the establishment’s resurgence within the party.
Suffering anemic approval ratings and having to fend off millions of dollars in attack ads from outside spending groups, McConnell worked relentlessly to portray Bevin -- who created plenty of problems on his own -- in a negative light.
After coasting to the nomination largely unscathed, McConnell will now build upon the conservative support he brought together in the heavily Republican state as takes on Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election.
In the other marquee Republican matchup on Tuesday, establishment fears that a weak candidate would be nominated to run against Democrat Michelle Nunn in the Georgia Senate race proved unfounded.
In a crowded contest that included a pair of marginal general election prospects, businessman David Perdue and U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston emerged as the top two contenders, who will square off against each other in a July runoff.
Both men enjoy support from a broad range of Republicans in the state, and each is considered a strong opponent for Nunn, who has enjoyed surprisingly robust early poll numbers in hypothetical general election matchups.Via: Real Clear Politics