Republican primary

Mark Sanford is running for president, here are some congressional basics

Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., left, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., along with members of the House Freedom Caucus hold a news conference on Affordable Care Act replacement legislation on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican presidential primary field looks small next to the Democrats, but at least one more player is joining. On Sunday, former South Carolina Governor and Congressman Mark Sanford announced his candidacy.

Capitol Ink | Too Close to Call

Walter Jones Defeats Repeat Primary Challenger
GOP operative Taylor Griffin came much closer in 2014

Walter B. Jones survived a repeat primary challenge. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Walter B. Jones survived a repeat primary challenge from GOP operative Taylor Griffin Tuesday night.

With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Jones led Griffin 66 to 15 percent. Phil Law was in second place with 19 percent of the vote. 

Ellmers Becomes First GOP Incumbent to Lose in 2016
Trump's late endorsement couldn't save heavily targeted incumbent

Renee Ellmers is the first GOP incumbent of the year to lose. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers, the first GOP member of Congress endorsed by Donald Trump, lost her primary Tuesday night to fellow Republican Rep. George Holding.

Ellmers is now the first GOP member of the year to lose. She faced not only a redistricting challenge but also an onslaught of opposition from outside groups.

Good News for Alaskans with Memory Problems
Could there be two Dan Sullivans?

If Sen. Lisa Murkowski, seen here with Alaska's junior senator, loses her Republican primary to the former Anchorage mayor, both of the state's senators could be named Dan Sullivan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Dan Sullivan is running for an Alaska Senate seat.   

No, not the Dan Sullivan who's currently the state's junior senator.   

The Strategy That Could Have Taken Trump Down
Trump’s opponents should have attacked his supporters instead of the candidate, expert says

Instead of attacking Donald Trump after it was too late, Republican presidential candidates should have tried to use Trump's positions to separate him from his followers, an expert on loyalty says. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

More than a dozen Republican presidential candidates spent a year of the nominating contest waiting for someone else to attack and take down Donald Trump. But the GOP contenders had a common goal with a flawed strategy: Trump’s opponents should have attacked the celebrity’s supporters instead of the candidate, an expert on loyalty says.  

“In any cult or loyal following, fractures can occur when the followers become disillusioned by the leader,” explained James Kane , a researcher and author on the concept of loyalty. “But more often, it is their awareness of their fellow followers that causes them to pull away.”  

Republican Incumbents Hope to Dodge Fallout From Presidential Primary

Shelby is facing a challenge from his right on March 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican Party establishment has campaigned aggressively ahead of Tuesday’s congressional primaries, optimistic that they can not only score a round of victories but also send a message to would-be conservative challengers that 2016 will be another year of electoral setbacks for them.  

The incumbent lawmakers and their allied groups would be absolutely confident of victory, too — if it weren’t for Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and the turnout-busting GOP presidential primary.