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Conservatives: Let’s Not Get Too Cocky

Dave Brat meets with voters

In the wake of the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia’s June 10 Republican primary some media commentators, who an hour before the polls closed were pronouncing the Tea Party movement dead, have now decided that grassroots conservatives are an irresistible force that will sweep all before it in the upcoming Republican primaries.

We wish that were true. However, if that prediction is to become reality, it will only be because conservatives buckled-down and did the hard work necessary to make it so.

Dave Brat defeated Eric Cantor because he had a simple message about going to Washington and standing for the basic conservative principles of the Republican Party.

And because he and his grassroots supporters knocked on thousands of doors, made phone calls, sent email, posted on social media and made the case for change in every forum they could find.

If Dave Brat’s success is to be replicated then we conservatives are going to have to work just as hard in such key races as the Mississippi Senate runoff where conservative Chris McDaniel faces 36-year incumbent Senator (and porkbarreller-in-chief) Thad Cochran and in Tennessee, where limited government constitutional conservative Joe Carr is taking on establishment Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, who votes with Obama more than practically any other Republican.

There are some very good signs that McDaniel and Carr understand the job ahead and are pulling out all the stops to execute the kind of ground game necessary to overcome the vast difference in campaign cash they face.

Carr has been hitting doors hard. And a recently completed a sweep through Middle Tennessee by BEAT LAMAR volunteers knocked on something like 6,000 doors.

Carr has also picked up endorsements from local elected officials, such as East Tennessee Representatives Tony Shipley (R-Kingsport), Timothy Hill (R- Blountville), and Micah Van Huss (R- Jonesborough) and Senators Hensley (R-Hohenwald) and Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) and Reps. Holt (R-Dresden), Sanderson (R-Kenton), and Wirgau (R-Buchanan).

McDaniel has not let up in his efforts either.  To keep the momentum of his top finish in the primary going in the runoff he has barnstormed the state with conservative stars, such as former Congressman Ron Paul.

Our friend Matt Boyle of Brietbart, who has broken many of the key stories about the Cochran – McDaniel race, reports that some 300 supporters turned out in the middle of the day – in a parking lot in the Mississippi sun – to hear McDaniel and Dr. Paul.

"We have the momentum going now and they understand that Washington, D.C., has to be changed and the only way to change Washington, D.C., is to change the people we send there who represent us," McDaniel said at another rally.

But the establishment hasn’t given up, not by a long shot.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $800,000 for Cochran at just one fundraiser. And the US Chamber of Commerce has booked $308,000 in airtime on broadcast stations across the state. The ads already cover markets in Biloxi, Jackson, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Greenwood and Columbus-Tupelo.

Plus reports of machine politics continue to come in with allegations that the establishment Republican political machine of Haley Barbour is trying to turnout Democrats to vote in the Republican primary and it is alleged even paying them to do so.

McDaniel stands as much as 12 points ahead of Cochran in the polls and Carr has Alexander below 50% approval, a very bad sign for a longtime incumbent, but the establishment won’t go quietly or easily. 

If conservatives want to make media predictions of a limited government constitutional conservative wave come true then we have to do what Dave Brat did in the final weeks of his campaign, not just in one campaign, but in every campaign -- starting with Chris McDaniel in Mississippi and Joe Carr in Tennessee. 

Dave Brat didn't win through osmosis, he won through hard work. To replicate his victory is time for conservatives to knock on thousands of doors, make phone calls, send email, post on social media and make the case for change in every forum we can find between now and when the polls close for each and every Republican primary.

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