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The 9 Biggest Candidate Flameouts

Walsh will not run for re-election to a full term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Meet the cycle’s biggest candidate disappointments.  

They are the congressional hopefuls who just didn't live up to their hype. Once touted as top recruits, these House and Senate candidates are headed for defeat on Election Day in all likelihood. Some of these candidates tanked so early in the cycle, their races never got off the ground.  

Simpson Overwhelms Tea Party Rival in Idaho Primary

Simpson was re-nominated Tuesday and is now favored to win a ninth term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tea Party Candidate Hammers Boehner Ally on 'Amnesty'

Smith is challenging Rep. Mike Simpson in the May 20 primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two weeks from the primary, the tea party rival to Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson is up with a new TV ad accusing the eight-term incumbent of supporting "amnesty."  

"Why are the Washington, D.C., special interests spending millions to prop up Mike Simpson?" a female narrator asks in attorney Bryan Smith's ad. "Because he supports a scheme to give amnesty to illegal aliens."  

Mike Simpson Out-Raised Tea Party Primary Opponent

Simpson outraised his primary opponent in April. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson out-raised his tea-party-bolstered Republican primary opponent in the final fundraising period of the contest.  

According to pre-primary reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, Simpson raised $193,000 from April 1 to April 30 and ended the month with $566,000 in cash on hand. Attorney Bryan Smith, who is backed by well-financed outside groups like the Club for Growth, raised $104,000 in April and had $231,000 in cash on hand.  

Campaign Spot-Light: The Only Job Worse Than Being an Incumbent, Cheap Dads and Alligator Wrestling (Video)

Welcome to the second edition of Roll Call’s feature that highlights the most interesting political ads of the week.  

Here is what cut through the clutter:  

Simpson Gets More Air Support in Competitive Primary

Simpson faces a competitive May 20 primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A super PAC supporting members of Congress targeted by the tea party is launching its second TV ad in Idaho on Thursday.  

Defending Main Street PAC, led by former Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Ohio, has now spent around $500,000 to help Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, who is facing a significant primary challenge.  

Campaign Spot-Light: Nancy Pelosi Returns to TV In a GOP Primary

Welcome to Roll Call's new feature to highlight the most interesting campaign ads every week.  

In fall 2012, Roll Call ran a similar daily feature highlighting the goodthe vicious  and the wild  of political ads. We planned to bring the feature back this fall, but the early influx of advertising in campaigns this cycle prompted a speedier comeback.  

Republican Super PAC Ad Attacks Club for Growth

Simpson, left, conducts a hearing in early April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A super PAC that defends Republican incumbents went up on air Thursday with an ad that both touts Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson's conservative credentials and attacks the outside groups seeking to oust him in an upcoming primary.  

The ad, released by Defending Main Street, seeks to discredit the Club for Growth — the main group attacking Simpson in the May 20 primary . It ties Club for Growth President Chris Chocola to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a villain to the Republican Party, and questions the club's priorities.  

Club for Growth Hits Simpson on Bailout Vote in TV Ad

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, faces a competitive May 20 primary (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth's political action arm released a TV ad Monday against Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, hitting the eight-term Republican on his vote for the Wall Street bailout in 2008 — a key point of contention for the conservative outside group.  

Simpson faces attorney Bryan Smith in a competitive May 20 GOP primary . Smith is backed by the club and other tea party-affiliated groups .  

Primary Challenger Airs First Ad Against 'Liberal' Boehner Ally

Smith, above, is challenging Simpson. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Bryan Smith went on the air with a new television ad calling his primary rival, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, a "liberal."  

Smith is challenging Simpson, an eight-term incumbent and top ally of Speaker John A. Boehner, for the 2nd District in one of the cycle's top primary battles . Smith also boasts the backing of several conservative outside groups, including the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund .