But in a sign of the topsy-turvy election season, some of the primary challenges are breaking from the usual script of conservative challenger versus establishment favorite. In Illinois, one-term Rep. Rodney Davis, a moderate, is facing a primary challenge from Erika Harold, a former Miss America who struggled in an interview with National Review to name an issue on which she disagrees with her opponent and who may tack even closer to the center than her opponent (To wit, Harold has kind words for President Obama, a no-no in most Tea Party-infused primaries.) And in Michigan, Rep. Justin Amash, one of the leaders of the “Shutdown Caucus,” is facing a primary challenge as state business groups worry his stance is bad for the economy.
And if further proof was needed for the old adage about all politics being local, some of the GOP’s loudest voices against the Tea Party appear prepared to skate through primary season. Rep. Peter King of New York, who recently called for a Republican war against Sen. Ted Cruz, has yet to see a serious challenger emerge.
“I am very upset that he is going with the arm of the party that is basically lying to its constituents,” said Catherine Tenek, a local Tea Party leader on Long Island.
And in Pennsylvania, Rep. Charlie Dent, a proud moderate who warned his Republican colleagues against shutting down the government and using the debt ceiling as leverage, also appears to have an easy path to the nomination.