Ask Joe Carr, the tea party's favored candidate for the Senate in Tennessee, and he'll tell you he's on a roll.
"Our momentum really launched when Chris McDaniel won his primary," Carr said confidently of his primary campaign against Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander. "Then when David Brat won, our support exploded."
Two problems with that. Not only did Chris McDaniel not actually win his primary—he lost the runoff to Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi after finishing first in the initial race—but some of the outside groups whose support Carr hopes to get sound exhausted after the tough slog in the Deep South.
Certainly, Brat showed in his upset win over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia that outside support isn't the end-all, be-all of insurgent primary campaigns. Brat benefited greatly from some name-only endorsements, the kind that Carr is picking up now. That includes conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.
But Carr, who is challenging a longtime senator and former governor, is mostly going it alone. So far, just one Nashville-based super PAC, Citizens for Ethics in Government, has gone up with TV ads on his behalf, and certainly none of Alexander's ads have acknowledged him, as Cantor's did for Brat.