Politico’s James Hohmann has released his list of “takeaways” from Tuesday’s primaries, among which is the claim that Eric Cantor’s loss in Virginia earlier this month is “an outlier” in 2014. Leaving out Tea Party victories in places like Nebraska, or the fact that Chris McDaniel forced incumbent Thad Cochran into a runoff in the first place, Hohmann sounds the all-clear for “the GOP establishment…and incumbents of both parties.”
Hohmann also notes–without irony–that “Democratic meddling did not work” in the Colorado governor’s race, where incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper would have preferred to face former Rep. Tom Tancredo instead of the actual winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary, former Rep. Bob Beauprez. Evidently Democratic meddling in the Mississippi primary to benefit a now-weakened Cochran did not merit notice or discussion.
While it is true that incumbent Republican leaders have withstood Tea Party challenges in most cases, the GOP establishment fell well short in the race for Nebraska’s open Senate seat. If it might be said that the Tea Party has generally struggled to recruit candidates who can win both the primary and the general, that is hardly a vote of confidence in a GOP establishment clinging to power by default–or, in Mississippi, by any means necessary.