One day before Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s historic primary loss, the Wall Street Journal reported: “Immigration’s Primary Effect Muted.” One day after, the newspaper is reporting nothing like the shocking upset will happen again.
“Those senators have been preparing for months and months for whatever might come their way and they won’t be caught off guard,” Brian Walsh, a paid consultant of the National Republican Senatorial Committee told the Journal for a piece headlined “GOP Establishment: No More Surprises Coming.”
“I don’t believe the circumstances we saw in Virginia are going to be replicated in any other Senate races,” Walsh told the WSJ.
The article could easily have served as a response to a Breitbart News article from Wednesday morning, which detailed how Cantor’s defeat could fuel grassroots uprisings in Mississippi, where incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) is in a runoff, and Tennessee, where Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will face Joe Carr in an August primary.
Other key races include an August contest between Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and President Obama’s cousin, Dr. Milton Wolf, and in Louisiana where conservative Col. Rob Maness faces Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in that state’s November “jungle” election.
“Amid growing speculation last year that Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander was vulnerable on his right flank, he aired a television ad with friendly cameo by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a towering figure in the tea party movement,” the WSJ’s Beth Reinhard wrote.
Other faces of the GOP establishment seemed to hunker down Wednesday.
Karl Rove did not have seem to have any high-profile reaction to the Cantor race, for instance.
“A good night for conservatives is a bad night for Karl Rove,” nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin said in an email to Breitbart News. “I haven’t seen him on my favorite cable channel for about 24 hours, which is very unusual. Perhaps he’s in the witness protection program.”
Reinhard added that it’s such “early advertising and opposition research” against their primary opponents that establishment Republicans aren’t “worried” that Alexander and Roberts “will meet the same fate” at the hands of their states’ voters as Virginia’s delivered to Cantor Tuesday. However, Cantor spent millions early bashing Brat and running hard against him–in much the same way Alexander and Roberts have against their challengers.
The WSJ does, however, seem to consider Cochran’s hold on power tenuous. Reinhard wrote that Cochran’s race against McDaniel is the “one exception” where the Tea Party seems poised for another win against the establishment.
A McConnell-led fundraiser Tuesday hauled in upwards of $800,000 for Cochran at the event, although a number of Republican senators exiting it seemed reticent to discuss their support of the septuagenarian incumbent.
McDaniel said in an email to Breitbart News that he’s not worried about GOP establishment money coming for him, because the grassroots have his back heading into the runoff. “No amount of money or mudslinging can drown out the will of the people when they engage the system,” McDaniel said. “It is one of the beauties of our country, and it’s not just a privilege, it’s our obligation. When the people rise up there is hope. What happened in Virginia last night was the boldest of reminders of the power of the people.”