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Time to Win the Vote

Mar 31, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 28 • By FRED BARNES
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Lesser GOP candidates in races against other Democratic senators should ponder Hill’s move. Would a primary fist fight in New Hampshire focused on small ideological differences help the likely nominee, ex-Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, defeat Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen? Hardly. The same is true in Louisiana, where Representative Bill Cassidy leads Democratic senator Mary Landrieu in polls, but still faces a primary foe, Rob Maness, backed by the Senate Conservatives Fund.

Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum “First you win the argument, then you win the vote” is quoted by Republicans who back candidates more vocally conservative than the likely nominee. Her rule might have applied when conservatives were running against liberal Republicans in the 1970s and 1980s. It doesn’t any more.

The argument has been won. The gamut of Republican incumbents and candidates for Congress now runs from quite conservative to very conservative. They believe in smaller government, less spending, fewer regulations, strong defense .  .  . you know the rest. Yes, there are a few exceptions. But Mitch McConnell isn’t one of them.

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