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We Need More Conservatives Running For The U.S. Senate

Everywhere you look it seems like conservative Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate are leading the open seat primaries and outclassing the RINO and Democratic incumbents by consolidating grassroots conservative support behind President Trump’s MAGA agenda.

2018 Senate MapOur friend David Bossie of Citizens United recently handicapped a few of the top races, and his take is worth sharing:

In West Virginia, conservative all-star and twice elected state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is the change agent and outsider in the race.   We’ve supported Morrisey in the past and his record as AG indicates he’ll come to Washington to fight for the reforms that Republicans have been promising for a long time.  He’s running against establishment darling Congressman Evan Jenkins in the Republican primary who was a Democrat just a few years ago.  Morrisey can draw the contrast necessary to defeat incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin in the general election next November…

In Ohio, my longtime friend and conservative ally Josh Mandel is well-positioned to defeat status quo supporting career politician Sherrod Brown in this high stakes rematch.  Mandel is an unabashed supporter of President Trump and will fight for the critical economic reforms that carried the president to victory in Ohio in 2016.

In Missouri, I was proud to be an early supporter of Josh Hawley for Attorney General and will support him again in his race for the Senate against liberal incumbent Claire McCaskill.  When I was talking up AG Hawley around the country earlier this year, establishment types were very cool to him and were talking up their own preferred choice at the time.  We were drawn to Hawley very early because of his fine work fighting for religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case at the U.S. Supreme Court.   In Tennessee, we worked hard behind the scenes to rally behind Marsha Blackburn, a longtime friend of the conservative movement.  This was critical in order to keep the anti-Trump establishment candidate Governor Bill Haslam out of the race that will fill retiring Senator Bob Corker’s seat. 

In Montana, Commissioner Matt Rosendale is a highly electable principled conservative who has won statewide in Montana recently and can turn out a dedicated conservative primary vote as well.  When he ran for Congress in 2014, the establishment supported another candidate in the primary.  I’m glad they’ve come to see the light this year.  Out of touch liberals in Washington got into Democrat Jon Tester’s head years ago and Matt Rosendale is the candidate who will defeat him in 2018.

David Bossie has identified some of the top contenders for conservative support, but there are many RINO and Democratic Senate seats up this cycle that have yet to attract a top tier conservative candidate or where a good-looking conservative has yet to put together a top tier campaign.

For example, in Nevada, we like where Danny Tarkanian is coming from – on the issues he’s miles ahead of incumbent establishment Republican jellyfish Dean Heller – but he is lagging in fundraising and needs to up the game of his campaign team to fulfill the promise of his talent for grassroots campaigning and get the message out that on repealing Obamacare, cutting taxes and other issues that matter to conservatives Heller is no better than a Democrat.

Likewise, in Arizona, principled limited government constitutional conservative Dr. Kelly Ward is running well ahead of John McCain’s do-boy, incumbent establishment Republican Senator Jeff Flake, but Ward’s campaign was recently dealt a blow when two of her top campaign aides left and trashed her on the way out the door. Dr. Ward would quickly earn the endorsement of many top conservatives, and pick-up the financial support that goes along with it, if she can settle her staffing issues and show she’s got a team of professionals capable of winning what will undoubtedly be a bitterly fought primary.

In Florida, which should be a prime opportunity for Republicans to knock off liberal Democratic windbag Bill Nelson, conservatives seem to be frozen in place waiting for Republican Governor Rick Scott to declare his intentions. According to a Florida Atlantic University poll released in August, Democrat Nelson is the choice of 42 percent of the registered voters. Republican Scott is the pick of 40 percent. That’s a statistical tie and bodes poorly for Nelson who is seeking his fourth term in the Senate, where his record has been about as ephemeral as the contrails left by his astronaut days rocket launches.

The 2018 Senate map heavily favors Republicans, who will only defend eight seats, just two of which are considered vulnerable right now. By comparison, Democrats must defend 25 seats, including 10 in states that Trump won in 2016.

As we contemplate that dynamic we are reminded of a passage in CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie’s book, TAKEOVER detailing how New Right conservatives gained Senate seats in the 1978 midterm election:

In 1977 and 1978 Howard Phillips visited every congressional district in America. During a trip to New Hampshire in 1977, only five people showed up for a meeting. One of them was an Allegheny Airlines copilot named Gordon Humphrey, who volunteered to run against Democrat Thomas J. McIntyre. Gordon Humphrey became one of three New Right senators elected in 1978.

The late Howard Phillips was a conservative giant, and among the lessons today’s conservatives could take from his career is certainly this: don’t let any seat go uncontested.

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