We all remember Christine O’Donnell, as we try to forget her? She was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Delaware who rode that year’s Tea Party wave to upset the presumed nominee, he of the “establishment.” In one of the worst political television advertisements ever produced she infamously declared she was “not a witch” as she attempted to retintroduce herself to a general electorate following her surprising nomination. It didn’t work. She got crushed.
Largely quelled in 2012 and 2014 are we seeing the rise of another Tea Party wave in 2016, with Donald Trump as its titular head?
It appears so, at least for now. But consider that it ominously (at least for some) appears to go well beyond Trump.
In yesterday’s Meet The Press/Survey Money survey the top 3 candidates – Trump, Cruz & Carson – combined for a whopping 47% of the vote. They are all from outside the establishment and running as such. Add in another person running as an outsider now tied for fourth – Carly Fiorina and her 8% — and a majority vote in the 2016 GOP primary is now occupied by Tea Party-like outsiders.
This is stunning for a field that may have the most talented and diverse set of Governors and U.S. Senators to ever pursue the nomination.
Time will tell if this holds. But it may be 1964 all over again when Arizona’s favorite son won a bruising primary fight as a “protest” candidate. Or will Republicans return to an heir apparent nominee like Jeb Bush or someone who checks many issues boxes like Marco Rubio who also offers a fresh face for a party who in 2010 nominated head scratchers like Sharon Anglen, Christine O’Donnell and others, but also the new senator from Florida.