Following last week's primary loss by Idaho congressional candidate Vaughn Ward, a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee's "Young Guns" program for top-tier recruits, Democrats are pouncing on further woes for touted GOP House candidates.
Fellow "Young Gun" Martha Roby will now face a primary runoff in Alabama's second district, after failing to garner 50% of the vote in a four-way runoff (Tea-Party-backed candidate Rick Barber took 28.6%), and party-switcher Rep. Parker Griffith lost his reelection primary last night. Democrats are delighting in both results.
In a memo on "Young Gun Misfires," which is being sent out today, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee notes that Roby "was unable to win her nomination in Alabama's 2nd district even after outraising her closest rival by a 6-1 margin."
The DCCC is also pouncing on Griffith's loss in Alabama's 5th district. The DCCC had defended Griffith as a vulnerable Democratic incumbent until he switched parties to become a Republican in December, less than a year after taking office.
Here's what the DCCC has to say about Griffith today:
Almost every national Republican, led by the NRCC, warmly embraced Congressman Parker Griffith and backed his nomination when he switched parties but, nearly uniformly, local Republicans bucked the national effort. Local Republican committees voted to endorse anyone but Griffith and local Republican activists tried to remove him from the ballot. The entire Alabama Republican Congressional delegation endorsed Griffith, House Republican Leader Boehner traveled the district and House Republican Whip Cantor recently said that winning this race was a personal "priority" for him. But Boehner's support was met by a torrent of protests against establishment involvement and, in the words of the Huntsville Tea Party head, they "are sending a message to the national Republican establishment: stay out of our primary."
To be fair, not that many other "Young Guns" are in trouble. Alan Nunnellee won last night in Mississippi, and 13 of 23 "Young Guns" have either won their nominations or aren't being opposed.
But as two of them have encountered a rougher time than expected, Democrats are seizing on the opportunity to point out that even a couple of the GOP's touted candidates have fallen.