The stalwarts of the GOP have had enough of losing: the Conservative Victory Project launches
The Republican Party donors are tired of donating to candidates who lose — namely, Tea Party candidates who, for one reason or another, could not make it through their general elections on to victory. Candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell won vicious primary battles, only to lose races in the general that seemed ripe for Republican plucking. The stalwarts of the party have had enough.
Party discipline is a concept that is foreign to Tea Party conservatives because, by nature, we are fiercely independent and want to do what we believe is right. However, I have personally learned over the years that you have to balance those beliefs with the understanding that, in order to impact policy, you have to win elections.
It doesn’t do conservative candidates any good to run and lose, only to see someone who completely disagrees with our beliefs win because we couldn’t figure out how to run our campaigns properly (or, in some cases, how to just stay out of it altogether). It’s one thing to run a Tea Party candidate who can win; however, it’s quite another to run one in a primary only to see them lose in a general. The latter is counter-productive, and hurts our conservative cause.
According to The New York Times:
The group, the Conservative Victory Project (CVP), is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles. It is the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party, particularly in primary races.
In an interview with The New York Times, Steven J. Law, one of the leaders of the CVP, said:
There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected. … We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.
Moving in to 2014, The New York Times reports that CVP will be doing the following:
The Conservative Victory Project, which is backed by Karl Rove and his allies who built American Crossroads into the largest Republican super PAC of the 2012 election cycle, will start by intensely vetting prospective contenders for Congressional races to try to weed out candidates who are seen as too flawed to win general elections.
CVP says that it will be an independent super PAC, and that it will disclose donor information. This is all separate from American Crossroads, even though its leadership is shared among the two organizations.
Law told The New York Times:
It is a delicate and sensitive undertaking. … Our approach will be to institutionalize the Buckley rule: Support the most conservative candidate who can win.
It will be interesting in the months ahead to see how CVP makes its decisions while keeping Tea Party, conservative and Republican support for the candidate it chooses to back in each race. Of course, money doesn’t always mean that you can win, but it’s better to have a 99% conservative who can win an election than a 100%, possibly overboard conservative run who loses elections and can never impact public policy.
If CVP truly stays with the mantra of selection the most conservative candidate — by making sure he or she can win — this could be the perfect balance between the moderate Republicans and the Tea Party candidates that the GOP needs to regain control of the Senate.
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- Dissension within GOP-land. Pass the popcorn! (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Republican Donors Finance New Karl Rove-Backed Group Targeting Extreme Conservatives (alan.com)
- Rove Declares War on Tea Party. Rove is now the backbone of the Republican Party. Shesh! (conservativehammers.blogspot.com)
- Karl Rove Declares War On The Tea Party (patdollard.com)
- Karl Rove launches initiative to keep tea party candidates out of elections (rawstory.com)
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- GOP Establishment Seeks to Take Back Control (politicalwire.com)