Sasse Nebraska Win No Tea Party Vs. Establishment Story
While it’s a fact that the Club for Growth and other “anti-establishment” organizations spent $2.4 million to help elect Nebraska GOP Senate primary victor Ben Sasse, characterizing Sasse’s victory as a ‘defeat’ for the ‘establishment’ wing of the GOP is more hyperbole than reality. To be sure, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and a variety of Tea Party-oriented entities were Sasse-backers — but so were mainstream conservative politicians like Paul Ryan and others.
The “Tea Party versus Establishment” narrative came into play earlier in the contest when Mitch McConnell took offense at a Sasse comment urging the Senate Minority Leader to make a “real” effort to defeat Obamacare. With that, the race became a simplistic one side versus the other in terms of media coverage.
As always, it’s not that simple and clear-cut. The T-Party can legitimately claim victory, but so can a variety of GOP politicians and groups who supported Sasse from the beginning.