Richard Mourdock’s big primary victory over incumbent senator Dick Lugar in Indiana suggests that the insurgent Tea Party conservatism of 2009-2010 is alive and well in the 2012 Republican party. (On the other hand, Keith Judd’s showing against President Obama in Tuesday’s West Virginia Democratic presidential primary—the federal inmate won a higher percentage of the vote against the president than Lugar managed against Mourdock!—suggests something wacky is going on among Democrats, at least in West Virginia. Maybe, as Iowahawk suggests, what West Virginia Democrats were saying was, “If I had a son, he’d look like Inmate 11593-051”?)
In any case, it seems doubtful that Mourdock’s victory will be a one-off. Where might a conservative insurgent win next? Where might Tea Party conservatism again rear its (ugly, to the establishment; fetching, to some of us) head?
Texas. Ted Cruz, an impressive young conservative lawyer—recently solicitor general of Texas, before that a Supreme Court law clerk—trails the incumbent lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, by about ten points in the latest polls in the race for the GOP nomination for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat. Cruz has (amazingly) raised almost as much money as Dewhurst (who is wealthy and can self-fund, however).