Igniting strong momentum from their respective second-place finishes in primary elections, Baptist pastor Mark Walker and Alabama think tank founder Gary Palmer won major upset victories last night in their respective North Carolina and Alabama Republican congressional run-off elections.
Both secured local and national conservative support, attracted endorsements from defeated primary opponents, and converted new voters with strong grassroots efforts, a combination that worked seamlessly to outpace establishment-backed opponents.
Palmer defeated state Rep. Paul DeMarco by a whopping 64-36 percent margin. Palmer had finished 13 points behind DeMarco in the June 3 Republican primary, but with all but one of the defeated candidates endorsing him, in addition to many conservative movement organizations both nationally and in Alabama, the second place primary finisher easily overtook the youthful state legislator in last night’s vote.
While DeMarco had a clear financial advantage and backing from business associations and the NRA, Palmer had the decided edge in the field. His stronger Continue reading >
The first in a series of consecutive May primary weeks went solidly for the incumbents last night, as all US House members facing intra-party challengers, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-8), rode to victory.
In the preponderance of cases, the incumbents won in the normal landslide proportion one would expect in primary elections. In only three instances, those of representatives Renee Ellmers (R-NC-2), Walter Jones Jr. (R-NC-3) and David Joyce (R-OH-14), did the incumbents fail to break 60 percent. Speaker Boehner, after campaigning hard and hitting the television airwaves to rebuff his under-financed but creative opponents, scored 69 percent of the vote.
The best news of the evening for Republicans came in North Carolina, where state House Speaker Thom Tillis exceeded the 40 percent threshold to win the party’s US Senate nomination outright. Late polling clearly suggested that Tillis would place first in the field of eight candidates, but questions remained as to whether he would Continue reading >