The Tea Party took another beating on Thursday as Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) handily defeated his only serious challenger in a field of seven in the Tennessee primary.
Joe Carr had run a typically far right Tea Party campaign, accusing Alexander of being “too liberal” citing his willingness to work across the aisle and compromise with his Democratic counterparts in the Senate.
Alexander was one of 14 GOP Senators who broke ranks to vote with Democrats on the Senate immigration reform bill, a move which Carr based a large part of his campaign on.
“There’s a crisis in America; thousands of illegal aliens are overrunning our border,” Carr said in a 30-second TV spot during the campaign. “President Obama created this crisis only after Lamar Alexander voted for amnesty. He is responsible.”
Alexander refused to run to the far right against Carr, instead touting his record in Tennessee having been involved in state politics most of his life, including his two terms as governor. Heritage Action gives him a 49 percent rating for 2013 and his rating from the American Conservative Union was a slightly more generous 60 percent.
Carr had been optimistic after the defeat of Eric Cantor in Virginia by Tea Party favorite Dave Brat, but like Chris McDaniel in Louisiana, discovered that the voting public is becoming disenchanted with the extremism of the Tea Party as more moderate mainstream Republicans move back toward the middle where they can once again reasonably expect to have a shot at the White House.
Watch Alexander claim his victory to his campaign staff in the video below from USA Today.