Is the Tea Party movement coming to an end?
FreedomWorks issued an unusual round of endorsements this week. The conservative group, which won publicity for backing intraparty challenges to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Mike Simpson, decided to play it safe this time. It endorsed three senators and nine congressmen, none of whom face any serious competition-Republican or Democratic. It stayed out of the contested Oklahoma primary for Sen. Tom Coburn’s seat, but endorsed Republican James Inhofe, who doesn’t face any GOP opposition. In South Carolina, FreedomWorks is backing Sen. Tim Scott, who’s a lock for reelection, but it isn’t doing anything against vulnerable Sen. Lindsey Graham, who’s also on the ballot this year.
All told, it’s a sign that the group has stopped sticking its neck out for long-shot conservative insurgents and is content to put some easy victories on the board. It’s a far cry from the early ambitions of the aggressively antiestablishment group, which entered the cycle boldly challenging sitting senators, including the chamber’s most powerful Republican. Now they’re content to focus on their support for members of Congress who are as close to reelection locks as they come. Indeed, FreedomWorks’ latest slam-dunk endorsements are emblematic of scaled-back ambitions from leading outside conservative groups.
Via POLITICO Huddle.