Believe it or not, some important Super Tuesday primaries are taking place in six different states today. From Tea Party challengers to alleged stalkers to Clinton loyalists, here are some of the major plotlines.
Tea Party versus the GOP establishment
We are now in Year Five of the Tea Party's
insurrection against recalibration of the American political landscape. The continuing narrative is that as Tea Party candidates struggle to lock down seats, they've helped steer the Republican Party to the right.
But with Republicans angling to take back the Senate in November, the choices that voters in several states make today may echo for eternity. The GOP establishment wants to make sure candidates who win in May can also win in November. ABC News' Jeff Zeleny reports:
There’s no better example than Kentucky, where Mitch McConnell and his allies took seriously the challenge from Matt Bevin and squeezed off the oxygen to his campaign.
In Georgia, it's gotten pretty nasty between the old guard and the new as several candidates seek to replace Saxby Chambliss.
Businessman David Perdue looks like a good bet to make the runoff, as his outsider message is hitting home thanks to the heaps of cash he has spent on advertising. Chamber of Commerce-backed Rep. Jack Kingston and Sarah Palin-backed former Secretary of State Karen Handel are competing for a second spot, recent polls show.
The far-right candidates are flagging, which is good news for the Republicans, who will have to face the much-hyped Democrat Michelle Nunn in November.
The thread carries through to places like Pennsylvania and Idaho, where seven-term Rep. Mike Simpson has seemingly withstood a challenge from crowdsourced(!) candidate Bryan Smith.
The Club for Growth, which helped identify lawyer Bryan Smith as Simpson's challenger, has spent more than $700,000 on the Idaho race but stopped paying for TV ads a few weeks ago.
Democratic family ties
Marjorie Margolies, Chelsea Clinton's mother-in-law, who lost her congressional seat 20 years ago after she voted for the Clinton budget in '93, doesn't necessarily seem poised to take it back. Despite her connection to the Clinton dynasty and the Clinton grand-spawn, Margolies squandered a substantial lead in the polls to Brendan Boyle in a four-way race in Pennsylvania.
In robo call for Marjorie Margolies, Bill Clinton defends his record and decries trickle down economics. http://t.co/qnWYEaOkPL— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) May 19, 2014
Earlier this week, Margolies skipped her own fundraiser where Hillary Clinton appeared on her behalf.
These races aren't happening until November, but it seems worth mentioning that according to polls, Jason Carter, grandson of President Jimmy, is running close with Nathan Deal in Georgia's gubernatorial race. Carter is trying to build a big tent and some benches.
I finished the three benches just before the benefit for Jason Carter. pic.twitter.com/Hl6ZwHjD1S— William H. Macy (@WilliamHMacy) May 13, 2014
Senate candidate Michelle Nunn (see above) is also the kin of a notable Georgia political figure.
The real question is whether any of these Democrats will campaign with President Obama come fall.
Ah yes, the alleged stalker
Monica Wehby, a pro-choice pediatric neurosurgeon who was leading in polls for Oregon's GOP primary for Senate, is in the midst of an 11th-hour crisis as she fends off claims that she engaged in "ongoing harassment" of her ex-husband during their divorce proceedings.
Jim Grant, Wehby's ex-husband, accused Wehby of slapping him with a pad of paper during a verbal dispute, according to a Portland police report from Dec. 16, 2007.
This report came days after she was accused (in a police report no less) of stalking her ex-boyfriend last year.
A police officer questioned Wehby after she entered Miller's home uninvited, then left. Miller called police; Wehby was not charged in the incident. Miller, who had been in a relationship with Wehby, told the officer she had come to his home about five times in the last 10 days and that he intended to seek a stalking order against her."
Wow. Apparently no one thought to vet OR-Sen candidate Monica Wehby as new allegations come out in police reports http://t.co/GDPUGWNfkH— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) May 19, 2014