JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sarah Palin is mounting an aggressive campaign in Missouri — in television and radio ads, in automated telephone calls, even serving barbecued pork sandwiches at a rural political picnic. She’s urging residents to vote for Sarah — Sarah Steelman, one of three Republicans in a prickly U.S. Senate primary.
Fresh off a resounding Republican runoff victory by Ted Cruz in Texas, Palin and the tea party movement now are trying to capitalize in primaries this month in Missouri, Wisconsin and Arizona. But they may pose a more difficult test than in Texas, where the charismatic Cruz waged an outsider’s campaign against the Republican establishment’s pick of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
In Tuesday’s primary in Missouri, conservative loyalties are fractured among a trio of candidates all preaching a smaller-government message while splitting the endorsements of conservative celebrities. In Wisconsin, the would-be tea party beneficiaries are up against a political icon — former four-term Gov. Tommy Thompson. In all three states, millionaire businessmen are self-financing campaigns focused more on a Main Street message of job-creation than a direct tea party appeal.
The uncertain outlook shows that winning as a tea party candidate still takes a combination of factors, even in states where Republicans are conservative and getting more so. Holding sole claim to the tea party label is a big help, along with strong campaign skills and vulnerable opponents.
Few hopefuls manage to have all three.
“The voters in Missouri are conservative like Texas, so I certainly hope it’s going to help,” Steelman said a day after Cruz’s victory on July 31, as she passed out newly printed fliers featuring Palin’s face and Steelman’s 12-point platform to a lunchtime crowd at a Jefferson City diner.
She and other Republican candidates have taken notice of Cruz’s powerful coalition — featuring Palin and other tea party stars such as South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; talk-show personalities Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity; and financially stacked political groups such as the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks for America. But she, and the multiple conservative contenders in the other states, are splitting
You can read the rest of this article at: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-08-06/tea-party-focused-on-coming-gop-senate-primaries