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Jun 11, 2014

Over-confidence and neglect fuel Republican Cantor’s stunning fall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A combination of over-confidence, neglect of his district and voter anger at congressional leaders fueled Republican Eric Cantor’s stunning primary loss in Virginia, an upset that rocked the Republican Party.

Cantor’s loss on Tuesday to a political unknown, college professor and Tea Party challenger David Brat, followed a series of missed warning signs and miscalculations in the final weeks of a race that largely flew under the national political radar.

Jun 11, 2014

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor loses primary to Tea Party challenger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia lost to a Tea Party challenger on Tuesday in a stunning Republican primary upset that sent shockwaves through Congress and gave the conservative Tea Party movement the biggest victory in its four-year history.

Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, was easily beaten by college economics professor David Brat, CNN projected. With nearly 90 percent of votes counted, Brat had 56 percent to Cantor’s 44 percent.

Jun 10, 2014

Graham, Cantor face Tea Party challenges in Republican primaries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia are favored to fend off Tea Party challengers in Republican primaries on Tuesday, when voters in five states pick candidates for the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

The Graham and Cantor showdowns are the latest in a series of primary clashes between the conservative Tea Party movement and the Republican establishment this year. The Tea Party is seeking its first high-profile win after a string of losses.

Jun 4, 2014

Republican Senate primary appears headed to runoff in Mississippi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel battled to a virtual draw on Tuesday in their bitter Republican Senate primary and appeared headed to a rematch in a June 24 runoff.

Neither candidate appeared likely to capture the 50 percent of the vote needed for a clear win. With about 98 percent of the votes counted, McDaniel had 49.6 percent and Cochran 48.8 percent – a difference of about 2,500 votes.

Jun 3, 2014

Republican primary in Mississippi gives Tea Party another shot

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi will be fighting for political survival on Tuesday in a Republican primary contest that represents the conservative Tea Party’s best chance to knock off a sitting senator this year.

The showdown between Cochran, who is seeking his seventh Senate term, and Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel highlights a busy day of voting across the country as eight states hold primaries to select nominees for the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

May 28, 2014

In Kentucky coal country, Democrat Grimes fights the party label

HARLAN, Kentucky, May 28 (Reuters) – At campaign stops in
the coal-rich mountains of eastern Kentucky, Democrat Alison
Lundergan Grimes likes to say she embodies the words that
frighten her Republican Senate opponent Mitch McConnell the
most: “pro-coal Democrat.”

For Grimes and other coal country Democrats, embracing that
label is more than a political convenience. It’s vital for
political survival.

May 20, 2014

McConnell coasts to Kentucky win over Tea Party rival

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell easily dispatched a Tea Party challenger in Kentucky on Tuesday to win nomination to a sixth term, setting up one of November’s most expensive and hard-fought Senate races against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

McConnell’s decisive victory over conservative businessman Matt Bevin was one of the highlights of the busiest election night of the year so far, as voters in six states picked candidates for November elections that will decide control of Congress.

May 20, 2014

Tea Party faces uphill battle in latest round of U.S. Republican primaries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Voters in six states will choose candidates on Tuesday for some of November’s top congressional election races, including another round of crucial U.S. Senate primaries between the Republican establishment and Tea Party favorites in Kentucky, Georgia and Oregon.

Tea Party candidates are fighting an uphill battle in all three U.S. Senate contests, which could be vital to Republican hopes of picking up the six seats they need to recapture control of the chamber from Democrats in November.

May 7, 2014

For Rand Paul, a stumble on road to 2016 White House bid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Kentucky Senator Rand Paul bet on a long-shot and lost in North Carolina’s contentious Republican Senate primary, raising new questions about the Tea Party hero’s bid to woo the party establishment on his way to a 2016 White House race.

While many Republicans celebrated Tuesday’s Senate primary win by North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, Paul scrambled to save face after the candidate he backed, Greg Brannon, finished a distant second in the battle for the right to challenge vulnerable Democratic Senator Kay Hagan.

Apr 2, 2014

Obamacare numbers offer glimmer of hope for Democrats in elections

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A rare burst of good news on President Barack Obama’s healthcare program has given Democrats their first glimmer of hope in months on an issue that has helped drag the party down ahead of November’s U.S. congressional elections.

A better-than-expected enrollment of 7.1 million people in healthcare exchanges under Obamacare gives Democrats a positive argument to counter relentless Republican calls for repeal of the law, and could help them change the topic to the bread-and-butter economic and job issues Democrats prefer to talk about.

    • About John

      "John Whitesides has covered U.S. politics, elections and Congress for 13 years, based in Washington. He joined Reuters in Asia, where he worked as an editor and correspondent in Hong Kong."
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