The GOP establishment in Georgia wants to tamp down tea party fervor ahead of a primary election for an open US Senate seat. Its aim: prevent a primary that yields a candidate who can't win a general election.
Beau Cabell/The Telegraph/AP
Four years after Atlanta saw some of the earliest and biggest tea party rallies in the country, Georgia’s GOP establishment, including Gov. Nathan Deal, are pondering strategies to reduce the right-wing insurgency’s influence on next year’s primary election for a US Senate seat – and on the larger struggle for power in Washington.
To be sure, Georgia is about as red a state as they come. It has had an all-Republican contingent in the US Senate for years, and the state gave a big thumbs-down to Barack Obama twice.
But the emergence of a big-name Democrat – Michelle Nunn, daughter of longtime and big-time former Sen. Sam Nunn – suddenly has the state GOP on the defensive.
As mainstream GOP leaders see it, the problem is how to keep the state’s powerful tea party contingent from dominating the primary nomination process and picking an extreme-right candidate who couldn’t win a general election.
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