Deep in the heart of Texas, one of the GOP’s highest-ranking Republicans gave his tea party challenger the boot Tuesday.
The 2014 elections officially started Tuesday with primaries up and down the ballot in Texas, from governor to a US Senate seat to state representatives.
Because Texas is a solidly red state, political observers around the country focused on one storyline: Whether tea party candidates still have the support to knock out establishment Republicans like they did in 2012. (See Ted Cruz’s surprise 2012 election to the US Senate against the state’s lieutenant governor.)
Observers wondered if that would happen this time around, too.
This election, they focused on Cruz’s senior counterpart in the Senate, John Cornyn, who is up for reelection. Like many establishment Republican candidates this year, the GOP’s No. 2 senators faced a challenger from the right. Seven, actually.
And Cornyn won.
Some would consider his win the year’s first test of the storyline about who has control over the Republican party.
Perhaps haunted by what happened in 2012, Cornyn wasn’t taking any chances: He outraised his main challenger, Rep. Steve Stockman by 88-to-1 this year.
No matter your interpretation of Tuesday’s Texas primaries, it’s fair to say any primary ballot with a bunch of “R’s” on it from here through November will receive intense scrutiny.
Election season is here.