It’s great to be an incumbent Republican. You can break your promises to voters, vote to massively increase government spending, and time and time again sell out the conservative base — and for the most part, you don’t need to worry about losing a Republican primary election.
At least, that was the message sent Tuesday night, as not a single incumbent Republican running for re-election lost a GOP primary in the four states that voted. In fact, most of these incumbents didn’t even have primary challengers, despite taking very bad, liberal votes in Congress. For example, all of the eight Republican incumbents on the ballot Tuesday who voted for the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that funded Democratic priorities and did not fund Trump’s agenda glided to their respective GOP nominations.
Here’s a head count, by state, of each Republican incumbent who voted for the omnibus and won his House primary anyway, featuring their Liberty Scores®:
That’s eight liberal Republican congressmen who will continue to “represent” conservatives in office (if they win in November). This follows 16 Republican incumbents who won their primaries in last week’s elections in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia.
With very few notable exceptions — House Freedom Caucus-endorsed Russ Fulcher’s victory in the GOP primary in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District and Mark Harris’ upset over Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C. — the moderate wing of the Republican party is dominating conservatives in primaries this 2018 cycle.
Things are different for the Democrats. As Nathaniel Rakich noted for FiveThirtyEight, “The #Resistance means business.” The far-Left progressive wing of the Democratic Party is scoring victories over the party establishment. In Nebraska, Kara Eastman, who supports Bernie Sanders-style Medicare for all, defeated the establishment-backed former Rep. Brad Ashford, D-Neb., who campaigned as a “consensus-builder.” In Idaho, the candidate endorsed by national progressive groups, state Rep. Paulette Jordan, defeated a more moderate Democratic candidate. In Pennsylvania, Scott Wallace, the grandson of the Progressive Party’s 1948 presidential candidate, Henry Wallace, defeated a former Navy prosecutor who ran as a Republican convert to the Democratic Party.
The Democratic base is on the move, holding their politicians accountable to their far-Left principles.
Can the same be said of conservatives? So far, it doesn’t seem so.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
Send tips and hate mail to [email protected]