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SCF Scores All 3 GOP Wins in 2012

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Twenty-seven Republican challengers ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012, yet only three will be sworn into office in January — Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Deb Fischer (R-NE). All three GOP members of the Senate's freshman class are conservatives and all three were endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund.

The media often criticizes conservative candidates, but conservatives delivered the GOP's only victories in 2012. All three winners are anti-establishment, conservative outsiders.

In Texas, Ted Cruz ran a David vs. Goliath campaign in the Republican primary that was fueled by the Tea Party. He defeated a multi-millionaire opponent in what was arguably the biggest upset of the 2012 election cycle. The odds against Cruz in such a large state cannot be overstated. This was a Titanic-sized victory for the conservative grassroots.

In Arizona, Congressman Jeff Flake defeated Democrat Richard Carmona, President Obama's hand-picked recruit. Flake is a known outsider who has a reputation for bucking the House Republican leadership, especially when it comes to fighting wasteful earmark spending. Flake's independent conservatism helped propel him through the primary and general elections.

In Nebraska, state senator Deb Fischer won the primary election by climbing in the polls with little name recognition and virtually no money. She defeated the Washington-favored candidate and won the GOP nomination by promoting conservative policies such as the Balanced Budget Amendment, an earmark ban, and term limits. Fischer then went on to defeat former Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska media darling who was recruited by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The other twenty-four Republican challengers were defeated this year. A few of these candidates were conservatives, but most of the losers were moderates. The Republican establishment got their preferred candidates in most of the 2012 races, yet they were all defeated. Notable examples include the candidates in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Maine, Michigan, Connecticut, North Dakota, Montana, and Hawaii.

There's no question that Republicans had a very bad year across the board in the battle for the Senate, but they have SCF and the conservative grassroots to thank for their only three wins. And like it or not, they have a string of moderates to blame for most of their losses.

Posted By: Matt Hoskins, SCF Executive Director
Category: Senate Races   Tags: TX12  NE12  AZ12  
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