From the Rapid City Journal, Seth Tupper noticed something i was tracking, that the ultra-conservative wing of the GOP (The one that calls everyone else RINO’s) didn’t fare all that well in Tuesday’s elections:
Generally speaking, challengers from the ultra-conservative camp fared poorly, while incumbents — other than Ferebee — fared better.
Among the incumbent ultra-conservatives who won their races or finished high enough to advance to the general election were Lynne DiSanto in the District 35 state Senate Republican primary, Phil Jensen in the District 33 Senate Republican primary, Taffy Howard in the District 33 House Republican primary, and Lance Russell in the District 30 Republican Senate primary.
Losing challengers from the ultra-conservative camp — who either self-identify that way or have been described that way by others — included Ed Randazzo in the District 32 Republican House primary, Janette McIntyre in the District 34 Republican House primary, James Bialota Jr. in the Republican primary for Pennington County auditor, Rick Kriebel in the Republican primary for District 3 Pennington County commissioner, and Jodie Frye in the Republican primary for District 5 Pennington County commissioner.
And it wasn’t just in the Rapid City area. This seemed to be taking place statewide.
In District 9 State Senate, Lora Hubbel was beaten 62-38%.
In District 14, a District where State Senator Stace Nelson directly campaigned against Deb Soholt, and for his attorney Shawn Tornow, while Soholt pushed back challenger Tyler Swanger 62% – 38%, Tom Holmes and Larry Zikmund handily beat Shawn Tornow 33% & 44% to 23%.
And another Nelson surrogate fell in D19. Challenger Michael Boyle fell to incumbents Kyle Schoenfish and Kent Peterson (41% & 30% to 28%).
In District 25, Dale Barnhart was beaten by Senator Kris Langer 65% to 35%, and in District 29, Gary Cammack defeated Bill Kluck 51-49%.
And in Brown County, hard-right challenger for sheriff Dan Kaiser attempted to paint his opponent Mark Milbrandt as a hard-left liberal through a series of mailers, some done through him, some done through PACs & groups supporting him. But he fell even shorter than some, 34% to 66%.
Incumbent legislators tended to be allowed to remain, but challengers found little purchase among the GOP electorate, and seemed to either ignore, or be turned off by the barrage of cheap negative postcards that popped up in these down ticket races.
Are the GOP voters just not swayed, and have grown numb to unsupported, throwaway attacks at this point?