2016 Rivals Say They Can Ride The Wave

Tea Party-backed senators eyeing White House bids in 2016 are encouraged by the victory of an underfunded challenger to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), a grandee of the GOP establishment.

Their glee comes as mainstream Republicans are wringing their hands about what the historic upset means for the future of their party, fretting that it could signal a larger Tea Party uprising.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) argued David Brat’s 11-point win showed that conservative principles can triumph over fundraising might and special-interest backing.

“Do I think that’s going to cause some fear among those vying for the Republican nomination in 2016? Absolutely,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who worked on Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign.

Read more from Alexander Bolton at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy