tea-party

Could Trump, Cruz Victories Cause GOP Problems Down-Ballot?

Attendees cheer for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Tuesday as he gives his victory speech after winning the New Hampshire 2016 primary in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call)

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have demonstrated anew to conservatives how to take on — and defeat — the GOP establishment. If they’re not careful, Republicans might soon feel the consequences of their victories beyond the presidential race.  

The unprecedented early success of the Texas senator and billionaire businessman in Iowa and New Hampshire might spark a transformation in a year’s-worth of Republican House and Senate primaries, threatening to transform a sleepy slate of contests into ones that recall the pitched intra-party wars waged during the height of the tea party movement. The hope among conservative insurgents — and concern among the GOP powers-that-be — is Trump and Cruz serve as beacons to like-minded voters, donors and candidates, who can harness the energy and enthusiasm of the White House race into their down-ballot battles against incumbent GOP lawmakers.  

Pelosi, DCCC Use Tea Party to Fire Up Dem Voters

Pelosi cites "tea party extremism" in blast mailer to Democratic voters. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic leaders are urging their voting base to fill the party’s campaign coffers as part of an election-year battle against a “tide of tea party extremism.”  

Some political observers believe the tea party -- specifically, the House Freedom Caucus -- will keep its powder dry this year in favor of a number of policy and spending battles in 2017. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi see the conservative movement as a way to fire up their base.  

Pat Toomey Endorses Marco Rubio for President

Toomey is up for re-election this year.

Updated: 5:30 p.m |  Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio for president Wednesday during an interview on CNN.  

“We face a huge national security crisis, obviously, emanating from the Middle East. There is tension all across the world,” he said. “Marco has demonstrated clear understanding. He’s done the hard work, he’s knowledgeable, thoughtful and a smart guy.”  

Senate Conservatives Fund Makes First House Endorsements of 2016

SCF has backed one of Ellmers' primary challengers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed its first three House candidates of the cycle on Tuesday.  

The SCF has traditionally backed conservative Senate candidates, but in 2013 the organization started playing in House races with its "House Conservatives Project."  

Before Donald Trump, There Was Maine's Paul LePage

LePage, shown here in 2013, is again garnering national media attention. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

It's not unusual for Maine Gov. Paul LePage's comments to make national news.  

The two-term Maine Republican has a penchant for speaking off the cuff in a similar tell-it-like-it-is manner as the presidential candidate whom he's endorsed, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  

Conservative Groups Not Rushing to Help Burr Primary Challenger

Brannon has launched a repeat bid for Senate after losing it in 2014's GOP primary.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Obstetrician and 2014 Senate candidate Greg Brannon barely snuck under Monday's filing deadline to challenge North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr in March's primary.  

Whether that's too late for Brannon to amass the tea party support he might need to unseat a two-term senator remains to be seen, but so far, the kinds of groups that would back an anti-incumbent challenger such as Brannon don't sound effusive about his candidacy.  

Before He Runs for Governor in 2017, Wittman Faces Uncertain District in 2016

Wittman is running for governor in 2017. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia's 1st District Rep. Rob Wittman announced over the weekend that he's running for the GOP nomination for governor in 2017.  

“Obviously our focus is on winning in 2016, but I am preparing for 2017,” Wittman told The Washington Post on Dec. 12.  

Poll Shows GOP Focused on Terrorism, Democrats on the Economy

Capitol Police officers stand by an armored vehicle in front of the east front of the Capitol on Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The latest American Values Survey paints a picture of a mistrustful, world-weary electorate that’s pretty much had it with political dynasties, monolingual immigrants and political correctness in general.  

Aside from the logical divide on who the two parties' official standard-bearers will be, both sides are far apart on the most critical issues facing the nation, the poll shows.  

Ryan Is a Boehner 'Mini-Me' to Some Conservatives

Ryan, left, and Boehner are facing similar attacks from tea party outlets that once tolerated them. ( Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just weeks after Republicans won control of the House in 2010, John A. Boehner celebrated his 61st birthday with a cake with green frosting. It was actually a double celebration. That same day, Nov. 17, 2010, he was elected speaker-designate by the Republican conference with unanimous support — a present he never enjoyed again.  

That unified Republican vote included at least seven current members of the House Freedom Caucus .  

Carson's Anti-Gay Stance Stops With Campaign Consultant

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

That Christian conservatives overwhelmingly support White House hopeful Ben Carson shouldn’t surprise anyone — he's been critical of same-sex marriage and once said equating LGBT rights to civil rights "irritated" him.  

And neither, campaign manager Barry Bennett maintains, should Bennett’s ongoing relationship with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist and business partner Mary Cheney.