Early returns bode well for mainstream Republicans
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The Republican Establishment’s bid to take back the party in 2014 is off to a sparkling start. In the first big test of a major campaign against Tea Party candidates before November’s election, mainstream Republicans thumped a series of insurgent challengers on May 6 in North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana.
In the day’s marquee matchup, North Carolina house speaker Thom Tillis won the GOP’s Senate nomination, beating a libertarian doctor and a Baptist pastor whose support for the state’s same-sex-marriage ban earned accolades from social conservatives. By capturing more than 40% of the vote in a field of eight candidates, Tillis sidestepped a July runoff and will be able to direct all his resources toward the November race against Democratic Senator Kay Hagan, whose vulnerable seat is a top target in the Republicans’ quest to regain the upper chamber this fall.