The Tea Party’s not Dead!

The GOP establishment took a Gibbs-style slap upside the head after yesterday’s primaries. The Tea Party still has power.

In Iowa, Joni Ernst, a state Senator…

…handily won the [Republican] nomination, receiving enough votes to avoid a nominating convention in the five-way race. She’ll face Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in the November general election to replace retiring Democrat Tom Harkin, who held the seat for 30 years. Ernst attracted national attention after she released an ad in March playfully suggesting her experience on her family’s farm castrating pigs will translate to her cutting ‘pork’ in Congress, pledging to ‘make ‘em squeal’… Ernst told a crowd of cheering supporters after being declared the winner that she is running to represent ‘Iowa values’ in Washington. ‘I’m running for Senate because Iowa means everything to me,’ she said.” — FOX News.

Ernst received support from the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Marco Rubio, plus other grassroots organizations.

Another ‘major’ race yesterday was the primary election for the Mississippi Senate seat. At this time, it appears the GOP primary will head towards a run-off, none of the three candidates received over 50% of the votes. With 98% of the votes counted, the two leading candidates, challenger Chris McDaniel and incumbent Thad Cochran, acquired 49.6% and 48.8% of the votes respectively. The third candidate, Thomas Carey, “…finished with 1.6 percent of the vote and conceded the race late Tuesday night. (Daily Caller.)

FOX News commented…

It looks all but certain that Mississippi’s vicious Republican primary will continue for another three weeks. With just a few precincts uncounted, Tea Party-backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel was leading but still below the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a June 24 runoff with the incumbent, six-term Mississippi GOP Sen. Thad Cochran. Barring a huge trove of McDaniel votes from unlikely precincts, the race will go on. That’s not good news for Cochran who, as Molly Ball reported, has not exactly been burning up the campaign trail. Cochran’s best chance to win was with the unusually large turnout on Tuesday, including some number of crossover Democrats supporting the moderate Republican. A runoff will distill the electorate to its concentrated conservative elements, and McDaniel’s supporters will be out in force. — The Atlantic.

Those, like Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell, who think they’ve beaten the Tea Party, are mistaken.

In other primaries around the country, former GOP South Dakota Governor. Mike Rounds, “took 55 percent of the vote in the state’s GOP Senate primary, far surpassing the 35 percent threshold to avoid a runoff. Republicans view the South Dakota race as one of their strongest chances to pick up a Democratic seat in 2014 with Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., retiring.” — FOX News.

In Montana, Republican Rep. Steve Daines was selected as the party nominee for the U.S. Senate against democrat Sen. John Walsh. According to the AP, both candidates have been campaigning against one another as if it was the General election instead of the Primary.

The campaign season is in full swing.