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August 8, 2014
Reflections on the Tennessee primary
Posted by Staff

In light of yesterday's primary, we want offer our whole hearted congratulations to the Carr campaign on a fight well fought. As we well know, incumbency confers an extraordinary advantage. Lamar was able to keep all major state political figures out of the race, he used his political muscle to lock up support from every state GOP party official early on, & had an extraordinary financial advantage (Carr's $1.3 million to Alexander's $7million). Yet in spite of all of this, Joe took a principled stance and fought. 

And what was the result? After 40 years of serving Tennessee, Lamar could not even get 50% of the vote-- the worst showing for an incumbent in the history of Tennessee politics.

While we are disappointed that we can't be sending Joe to Washington, we are looking forward. What did last night's results demonstrate? It shows that ANY candidate that has voted for amnesty is vulnerable. We should not be deterred in the slightest, in fact, we should be encouraged and ready to engage in the next fight.

So what are the lessons we should take away from this race for the future?

  1. Incumbents will use their money and the mainstream to deceive voters: Lamar relied on low-information voters. He spent lots of money by running false campaign ads which lied to GOP voters and used mainstream to convince them that he "voted to end amnesty". 

  2. Candidates need to articulate a principled, populist stance about protecting American wages. Carr was never able to break through the media's narrative about Lamar's record on amnesty. He was never able to do what Brat did, which is rise above the Washington-speak to deliver a message that Lamar Alexander voted to deconstruct America & import foreign workers who would undercut the wages and livelihoods of hardworking Tennesseans. 

    Remember the Reuters/Ipsos pollif Carr had barn-stormed the state & said "Lamar Alexander voted to import cheap foreign labor that will deliver an economic blow to your way of life-- stand up to him to save your country" (as Brat did), we'd have seen much different results. 

  3. A crowded primary field possibly took points away from Joe Carr (~10)

  4. As Nate Silver warned the public in his recent piece, do not trust the mainstream media's reporting on primaries... Things look awful for incumbents: "There’s no evidence the threat from primary challenges has been reduced going forward. It may even still be increasing. Beware of mainstream media narratives that state the contrary; they often draw too many conclusions from idiosyncratic results or fail to appreciate the differences between primaries and general elections."

MAIN TAKE AWAY: Americans who love their country are running out of time to right the ship. They need to send every amnesty loving, cheap-labor fanatic packing. We have a situation in Tennessee where two Republican senators had the same exact agenda as Nancy Pelosi to transform this nation, and this, as Steve Camarota has explained, will be the end of limited government conservatism. Incumbents are vulnerable, but we have to act.

In conclusion, after 40 years of serving Tennessee, Lamar couldn't even get 50% of the vote because of his amnesty vote. The primary race to get rid of Bob Corker, who was the reason the Senate immigration bill passed, begins now. 

08/8/14 11:33 AM
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