Grassroots conservatives are reminded often about how they need to shut up, accept some diversity, and vote FOR whoever the GOP nominates. Quite often, conservatives hold their noses and do their duty as Republicans on election day. But how consistent are moderate establishment types in following their own advice?
I saw an analysis of the 2008 North Carolina governor’s race by former John Locke Foundation blogger Jeff Taylor. He noted how interesting it was that — in the general election — McCrory handily won Charlotte-area precincts that ALSO went for Obama and Kay Hagan.
In 2012, McCrory handily beat Democrat Walter Dalton. An awful lot of Tea Partiers — us included — stood up for Pat McCrory and voted for him, even though he didn’t exactly WOW us. But the GOP nominees for Council of State — mosty all of whom campaigned to McCrory’s right — didn’t fare so well. It’s pretty obvious from looking at the vote totals that thousands upon thousands of people who voted for Pat McCrory DID not vote for Dan Forest or any of the other GOP Council of State candidates. I talked with a number of Council of State candidates and campaign staffers from that year who tell me they got next to no help from Team McCrory.
Fast forward to 2014. Republican US Senate candidate Greg Brannon is being criticized for not marking Mitt Romney’s name in the 2012 general election. Brannon says — due to his discomfort with Romney’s moderate-to-liberal decisions while governing and campaigning — he wrote in the name of another Republican politician. Of course, Brannon’s action did not cost Romney the election. In fact, post-election studies found that 4 million people who showed up for John McCain in 2008 did not show up at the polls in 2012.
In 2012, the establishment got angry at The Tea Party for primarying long-time Indiana senator Richard Lugar. The primary was ugly, and Lugar lost. A lot of Lugar’s forces sat on their hands in the general election — allowing a Democrat to pull an upset. Tea Partiers claimed — to the vehement objections of the GOP establishment — that Lugar was insufficiently conservative. Well, it turns out that Lugar has been caught donating money to 2014 Democrat US Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia. There IS a contested GOP primary in Georgia, by the way.
Lugar is the second former Senate RINO to step up for Nunn. Former Senator John Warner (R-VA) gave her money and attended a fundraiser. (Nunn is the daughter of former Georgia senator Sam Nunn.)
Looking at all of this, it gets you wondering about what will happen in North Carolina following the GOP primary for US Senate. Will state party leadership step up to try and keep the peace between Tea Partiers and establishment types? Or will the ostracization of The Tea Party continue — possibly leading to one heck of a political DIVORCE?