Did the tea party lose big in yesterday’s primary elections in Texas? Abby Rapoport says that national media accounts suggesting the resurgence of moderate Republicans in the Lone Star state are off base:
From these write-ups, you would never guess the significance of incumbent Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst’s poor showing. Dewhurst, whose U.S. Senate dreams were toppled by Ted Cruz in 2012, managed only 28 percent, while his challenger, the pro-life, pro-Tea Party state Senator Dan Patrick, hit 44 percent.
….Results shook out similarly in the attorney general’s race, where Tea Party-backed state Senator Ken Paxton got the most votes and will run off against state Representative Dan Branch. You’d also have no idea that veteran state Senator John Carona, one of only a few moderates left in the Texas senate, had fallen to a Tea Party challenger, as did a handful of state representatives.
Tea party darling Steve Stockman, who ran a bizarro non-race against Sen. John Cornyn, got most of the national attention but was never likely to win. In the races that mattered—and keep in mind that in Texas, the lieutenant governor is one of the most powerful statewide offices—tea party candidates did fine. The Texification of Texas is still alive and well. Dave Weigel has more details here.