Chris Cillizza wants to know…what did yesterdays primaries in Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio mean for Republican establishment candidates?

Cillizza wrote that the establishment candidates won, but POLITICO says the establishment is ‘bruised.’

Back to Cillizza, who is now splitting the difference:

On the one hand, establishment candidates like former Sen. Dan Coats(R-Ind.) and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D-Ohio) — not to mention endangered incumbents like Reps. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Mark Souder (R-Ind.) — managed to emerge from their respective primaries.

On the other, Coats couldn’t break 40 percent against two little known candidates divvying up the conservative vote, Fisher beat a candidate with almost no money by just 10 points and Burton won the GOP nod with just 29.7 percent of the vote.

So essentially, the incumbents and traditional Republican favorites won, but the victories weren’t strong. In some cases voters weren’t moved to cast ballots and in others the vote between outsider candidates was split. It will be interesting to see how these candidates do in the general election. Those who voted for other candidates or who didn’t vote at all may not vote in the general election, unless they decide to cast a ballot for the GOP candidate as a vote against the Demcoratic party.

Whether these Republican voters (who in many races are likely Tea Partiers) are willing to vote for the candidate they see as the lesser of two evils remains to be seen, and it will definitely be something to watch for in November.

Advertisements