Ask Joe Carr, the tea party’s favored candidate for the Senate in Tennessee, and he’ll tell you he’s on a roll.
“Our momentum really launched when Chris McDaniel won his primary,” Carr said confidently of his primary campaign against Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander. “Then when David Brat won, our support exploded.”
Two problems with that. Not only did Chris McDaniel not actually win his primary—he lost the runoff to Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi after finishing first in the initial race—but some of the outside groups whose support Carr hopes to get sound exhausted after the tough slog in the Deep South.
“We fully intended to be active in [the Tennessee] race three weeks earlier than we are now,” said Kevin Broughton, the communications director for the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund. “But we had a little Senate race going on in Mississippi,” he said. Broughton, who was still in Mississippi more than two weeks after the runoff, said the group was assessing what resources it could put into Tennessee after dropping more than $1 million into Mississippi.