The Nebraska results were just the latest signal that the GOP might be drifting back into the nasty intra-party feud about conservative bona fides that dogged it in 2010.
This time, the clashes are more complicated, because the party’s rightward factions have splintered and separated, and each now wants to hold candidates to their own particular test of conservative purity. The insurgents are now under attack from new insurgencies.
The next fights will come in the Texas Senate race and in House races around the country. For the GOP, Nebraska was a reminder that its coalition includes powerful groups that want to shove the party rightward — and don’t mind losing an election, or an incumbent, to make their point.
“We’re not afraid of losing races. We think that there is, you know, some benefit to our involvement, win or lose,” said Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman who heads the Club for Growth. He meant that even when very conservative candidates lose, they scare incumbents into voting more conservatively.