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    Establishment GOP vs. 'the good guys'?

    Chad Groening ( Thursday, May 08, 2014

    An immigration enforcement activist is extremely disappointed by the results of Tuesday night's Senate primary in North Carolina - and one political analyst is offering the tea party and Christian activists advice on the next step to take since their preferred candidates came up short.

    The establishment GOP candidate, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, will be on the ballot in November challenging the incumbent, Democratic Senator Kay Hagan. Tillis coasted to a win in the Republican primary against seven other candidates, including tea party choice Greg Brannon and mega-church pastor Mark Harris, who finished second and third respectively.

    Tillis was the establishment candidate who had the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Right to Life Committee, and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. National party leaders have targeted Hagan as part of their effort to try to gain control of the Senate.

    William Gheen, president of North Carolina-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), questions the conservative bona fides of Tillis on the issue of illegal immigration.

    Gheen, William (ALIPAC)"What they've done in the race with Thom Tillis is [elect] another John McCain, Lindsey Graham kind of Republican who will pretend to oppose Obama on things like Benghazi while secretly negotiating and working with Obama to pass nation-destroying illegal alien amnesties," he laments.

    Gheen expects the establishment GOP will use the same tactics to target true conservatives in other state primaries.

    "They're targeting other good guys like Congressman Steve King in Iowa, [who] is under duress; Congressman Tom McClintock, one of the few good guys in California, is under duress," says the ALIPAC leader. "So it looks like we're going to have to circle the wagon train to play a defensive game just to try to protect our key people we already have in Congress from losing."

    Tuesday's North Carolina results are a warning that the establishment steamroller is headed down the road to the next primary stop, concludes Gheen.

    National Review media editor Eliana Johnson, however, offers a different take on those results, quoting a Republican strategist who advises the tea party not to make it their "test case" leading into the 2014 primaries.

    In fact, a conservative political scientist believes Tuesday's primary results in North Carolina should send a message to tea party and Christian voters.

    Dunn, Charles (Regent Univ.)"If you look at the Republican mainstream, they demonstrated that if they bring their resources together around one strong candidate, as they did [in North Carolina], and organize effectively [and] raise the money, that they can win," says Dr. Charles W. Dunn, professor emeritus of government at Clemson University.

    Pointing out that the tea party and conservative Christians were not united in the primary, Dunn argues has to be a real "coming together" for Tillis to be able to beat Hagen.

    "I think that the pastor and the others in the tea party will see that it behooves them to set aside their short-term disagreements in order to achieve some long-term objectives," he advises. "From their standpoint, it's better to have Tillis in the U.S. Senate than the Democrat Hagen."

    Dunn believes Tillis has the momentum and should pick up the highest percentage of undecided voters in November.
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