A political science professor at Drury University says Missouri’s Republican Congressional members can learn something from recent primaries, and it isn’t to fear the Tea Party.
The defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) by primary opponent Dave Brat grabbed headlines, but Professor Dan Ponder says it isn’t likely that similar unseatings will happen in Missouri’s primary in August.
“Ann Wagner is really the only establishment Republican,” says Ponder. “Everybody else (among Missouri’s incumbent Congressional delegation) is very far to the right and therefore pretty much probably inoculated, at least from a Tea Party-type challenge.”
Congresswoman Ann Wagner does not have opposition in the August primary.
Ponder says poor turnout among Cantor’s supporters played a large role in his defeat.
“A lot of people were fairly complacent. Cantor is number two, he might be Speaker someday, he is basically invulnerable, his own polls showed him to be between 30 and 35 points up,” says Ponder. “I think if everybody came out … I think Cantor would have won and probably would have won easily.”
Ponder thinks candidates also need to be focused on their local constituents – something analysts say Cantor didn’t do enough of.
Missourians have until July 9 to register to vote in the August primary.